Delhi-based Zexus Air is on the verge of getting a national scheduled airline permit with the aviation regulator coming out with a public notice to invite comments. This is usually the last stage before granting the license.
Zexus along with two others – Air One Aviation Pvt. Ltd and Premier Air – had received a no-objection certificate aviation ministry in 2014 to launch nationwide operations subject to clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
“M/s Zexus Air Services Pvt. Ltd. has applied for grant of Air Operators Permit (Scheduled) for the purpose of providing Scheduled Air Transport Services in India,” the DGCA notice said. “The documents submitted by the applicant are being processed in this office. In order to comply with the requirements of Schedule XI of Aircraft Rules 1937, a notice is hereby given to the public and all the persons likely to be affected by the grant of this permit to submit their objections or suggestions, if any, on M/S Zexus Air Services Pvt. Ltd. within 15 Days of the issue of this notice,” it said.
According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) website, Zexus Air plans to launch services with Embraer E175LR equipment. It was registered in April 2013.
Industry experts said more airline launches could be in offing as the government prepares to roll out its ambitious regional connectivity scheme (RCS). The booming passenger traffic in the country’s smaller towns and cities is a big incentive. India is the fastest growing aviation market in the world and domestic passenger traffic grew by a record 25.82% in July.
The RCS will further boost operations to smaller towns with the government offering incentives to airlines in the form of a viability gap funding (VGF). “The RCS would ensure that operational costs are covered with VGF support from the government thus making operations to smaller cities viable,” said aviation expert Rajji Rai.
RCS – touted as the centre-piece of the National Civil Aviation Policy – provides for a fare cap of Rs 1770-Rs 4070 for flight durations between 200km to 800 km respectively. The government has suggested a VGF of up to Rs 4170 per seat for fixed wing planes and Rs 7200 for helicopters. Both the existing big carriers as well as charter operators, who can apply for a Scheduled Commuter Airlines license, will be eligible to operate flights under the scheme.
Under RCS unveiled in July, government plans to extend air connectivity to smaller towns and cities. There are a total of 394 un-served airports and 16 under-served airports in the country, which would be upgraded by AAI. The aviation ministry has already sought a budgetary provision of Rs 4,650 crore to revive 50 un-served and under-served airports.