Flying abroad soon to be cheaper?

The government is all set to change the rules regarding operations on international routes by privately owned domestic carriers, which may result in a price war for the foreign-bound skies.

The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has forwarded a cabinet note to the group of ministers (GoM) headed by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, to reduce the five-year eligibility requirement to three years, and make more private carriers eligible to operate on international routes.

If the eligibility criterian comes down to three years, a majority of domestic operators would become eligible to operate on international routes. This would also mean that the government would reciprocally have to permit foreign carriers to operate services to and from India.

The entry of so many new airlines, both Indian and foreign, would inevitably result in excess capacity on international routes, and the resulting competition would bring about a cut in airfares