Mumbai-based low-cost carrier GoAir has said that the five-year/20-aircraft rule for domestic airlines to start international operations discriminates against Indian carriers when foreign airlines with lesser experience and fewer aircraft are allowed to operate flights to and from India.
The Wadia-Group-owned budget carrier, launched in November 2005, meets the government regulation of five years of domestic operations. However, its fleet size is 16. It will add three more aircraft to its fleet by the end of this financial year and two in July 2014.
“India allows foreign airlines with less than five years experience and with less than 20 aircraft to operate international services to and from India. In this rule, I see some sort of discrimination towards Indian carriers,” GoAir’s chief executive officer Giorgio De Roni told HT.
“If we were allowed to operate international flights we will create additional employment and opportunities for foreign currency inflow. In this period, there might be an added value to this aspect,” Roni said adding that on obatining clearance GoAir would be interested in operating flights to the Gulf, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.
“While Air Arabia, Etihad and Tiger Airways were granted permission to fly to India despite having been in operation for less than five years, Indian airlines such as Kingfisher, IndiGo and SpiceJet could not fly out,” a report by aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) said.