The civil aviation ministry has received at least 26 applications for granting of licenses to start scheduled airlines.
"The receipt and consideration of application is an ongoing process. Twenty six applications to start scheduled airlines were received," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
He also said 13 companies had been granted initial no objection certificates (NOCs). Four of these had been given operator permits, whereas the NOCs of five companies had expired.
"MDLR airlines, Jagson airways, Aryan Cargo Express and Deccan Cargo Express Logistics obtained operator permits, whereas the NOCs of Skyking Aviation, Pawan Hans Helicopters, Star aviation and Flyington Freighters and Avicore expired," Patel added.
Patel said there were 14 scheduled flight operators in the country with a total fleet size of 425 aircraft, with Air-India and its subsidiaries like Air India Charters and Airline Allied Services leading the pack with 178 planes.
Jet airways, excluding Jet Lite, is the leader among the private airlines with 86 aircraft, followed by Kingfisher with 67 planes.