Airbus A380s may soon land at Indian airports

Foreign airlines may soon be able to fly the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus 380, into India, as the government plans to allow international airlines to operate these ultra long-haul planes into the country.

Among those likely to take advantage of the relaxation of rules are Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, and Singapore Airlines, all of which have shown interest in operating these planes on routes involving India.

According to several reports citing civil aviation ministry sources, the ministry is planning to relax rules in bilateral air service agreements (ASAs) by doing away with the 'aircraft type' clause. However, the reports were not officially confirmed at the time of writing.

An ASA, signed between two countries, specifies the number of weekly seats or services and the points of call (destinations from which airlines from other countries can fly).

Allowing carriers to operate Airbus 380s into India is a change of stance by the government which had earlier stopped airlines from flying these planes into India to protect the Indian carriers. Now, international airlines will be able to fly any aircraft to India according to their strategies.

The government had barred carriers from operating Airbus 380s on the ground that it would be difficult for Indian carriers to compete with airlines operating ultra long-haul planes.