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Regional airlines get fuel, landing sops

The government has notified separate norms and incentives for regional airlines aimed at providing better air connectivity in remote areas and small towns, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2007 21:33 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times

The government on Thursday notified separate norms and incentives for regional airlines aimed at providing better air connectivity in remote areas and small towns.

According to the notification, new airline companies will undertake operations between airports of any of the four regions — north, south, west and east/north-east.

“Airline companies can initially start operations with one aircraft but within one year they must have a fleet of three. In two years from start of operation, they need to have five aircraft," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said. <b1>

A separate category of operator permit — Scheduled Operator Permit for Regional Airlines — will be given to such airlines. These airline companies should have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 30 crore for operating bigger jets, while airlines operating turboprops should have a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 12 crore.

“On grounds of operational and commercial exigencies, the companies will be allowed to operate flights from airports in their designated region to all airports in any other region except the metro airports,” Patel said.

These airlines will be exempted from paying parking and landing charges in airports and will pay a uniform 4 per cent tax on jet fuel.

“The matter regarding regional airlines was being considered in view of the fact that there was a need to expand air services to Tier II and Tier III cities to meet the unfulfilled demand which the existing operators are unable to cater to,” Patel said.

The minister said the regional airlines would not be permitted to operate on Category I routes. Since the southern region has three metro airports, the regional airlines of the southern region will be allowed to operate out of the designated metros, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

First Published: Aug 09, 2007 21:30 IST