In a special dispensation granted by the aviation ministry to Tata-Singapore Airlines-backed Vistara, the full-service carrier will not have to comply with the mandatory route dispersal guidelines (RDG), followed by all Indian airlines, for the first three months of its operations.
Vistara, which launches commercial operations from January 9, will operate on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes to begin with.
According to government guidelines, all scheduled airlines are required to deploy in the North Eastern region, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep at least 10% of their deployed capacity on the 12 Trunk or category-I routes such as Delhi-Mumbai. Also, 50% of the capacity deployed on category-I routes is to be deployed on category-III routes.
The aviation ministry, in a letter to Vistara, said the deferment of the compliance of RDG was for a period of three months from the day of starting operations. "The exemption is only a deferment from compliance of the mandatory guidelines for a period of three months and the airline will have to make up for the shortfall in compliance, within six months after the first quarter," the ministry said, adding no further extension would be considered.
Vistara did not offer comments for the story.
"Vistara is starting operations with only two planes, so it was obvious that complying to RDG would have been difficult," said Rajji Rai, chairman, Swift Travels.