Operating code-share flight procedures simplified

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that foreign airlines need not file their fares at the time of seeking permission to operate flights to the country.

This is one of four or five important amendments to the Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC), keeping in mind the market realities, to make life easier for foreign airlines and entice them to operate from India.

Tariff is now decided by the market and soon commercial agreements, which were earlier necessary between Air India (AI) and international airlines, will be a thing of the past.

"With the new AIC being issued, an international airline that has an operating authorisation would have to do nothing, while those who apply afresh would find it much easier to begin operations," a DGCA official said.

The new guidelines also simplify the procedures for operating code share flights and flights with leased aircraft.

International airline officials have welcomed the move, as it would bring more transparency into the system. But they say the government needs to provide a clear timeline for the final proposal to be cleared, so that airlines can market their flights better.

An airline has to submit a number of documents including a copy of the letter of designation, a copy of the instrument relating to incorporation of the airline, details about equity participation and the names and nationalities of the board of directors of the airline, at the time of applying for permission to fly here.

In the last few years, there has been a steady increase in international airlines operating to India. British Airways, Lufthansa, Sri Lankan, Air France and Emirates have been steadily increasing their presence by adding more cities within the country to their networks, while a number of new airlines such as Etihad, Jazeera and Turkish Airline THY, have started operations to India.