| Patel: Sky’s the limit
New Delhi, Aug. 9: The government today came out with new norms for regional airlines, which could start operations with just three aircraft and a minimum of Rs 12 crore as paid-up capital.
These entities will operate within a region and can fly to other regions but not to the metro airports of other regions. The civil aviation ministry considers the airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Calcutta as metro destinations.
A separate category of permit will be issued for the airlines. Civil aviation minister Praful Patel said, “The airline companies can initially start operations with one aircraft but within one year, they must have a fleet of three. In two years from the start of operation, they need to have five aircraft.”
Patel said regional airlines would meet the growing demand for air travel in the smaller cities. He said existing operators were unable to cater to this segment for various reasons.
According to an aviation ministry notification, the requirement of paid-up capital is Rs 30 crore for three aircraft with each having a take-off mass of more than 40,000 kg.
For every additional aircraft, the paid-up capital should go up by Rs 10 crore, up to a maximum of Rs 50 crore.
For an aircraft with a take-off mass of less than 40,000 kg, the paid-up capital for plying three aircraft is Rs 12 crore.
For operating two more aircraft, the paid-up capital will be Rs 20 crore.
Patel said regional airlines would be granted concessions given to small aircraft operators. These include treating jet fuel as a “declared good” to attract a uniform low rate of 4 per cent sales tax and a waiver on landing, parking and navigation charges.
Jet, Air India plans
Jet Airways today said it planned to start daily Delhi-New York flights as well operations to South Africa by this winter.
“By the end of October or early November, daily flights from Delhi to New York’s JFK Airport will start,” Jet Airways executive director Saroj Datta said here. He said the company also had plans for flights to the US from either Chennai or Bangalore.
The airline today announced the launch of its new flight from Delhi to Toronto via Brussels, five times a week. Air India, too, is planning to add more destinations in the US and plans to acquire more aircraft for this purpose.
This follows the successful launch of the non-stop flight from Mumbai to New York from this month. Air India chairman V. Thulasidas said the airline was also looking at an European hub and planning to restart services to Australia and Switzerland, besides more services to Saarc countries.