GoAir wants changes in norms for international flights

India's fifth-largest airline, GoAir, part of the Wadia group, wants the government to allow domestic carriers with less than 20 aircraft to operate on overseas routes.

Under the existing norms, domestic carriers need to complete five years of operation and must have a fleet of 20 aircraft to enable them to launch international operations. 

Though GoAir was launched in 2005, it is not able to operate on international routes as it has only 13 aircraft. ''But India allows foreign airlines with one or two aircraft to operate international flights to India, though it does not allow Indian carriers to fly international,'' said Giorgio de Roni, CEO, GoAir.

By allowing domestic carriers to operate on international routes, the country would gain in terms of more foreign exchange earnings, increased inflow of tourists and additional employment, said de Roni.

GoAir, which will see its fleet size reach 20 aircraft only by July 2014, has written to Ajit Singh, the civil aviation minister, seeking changes in norms.
 
But the minister has not responded so far. 

The airline also wants foreign direct investment in the civil aviation sector, as it would bring in expertise and help growth in the sector.