India lifts ban on Airbus A380, allows double-décker planes to land at 4 airports
27 January 2014
India has lifted a ban on flights of Airbus A380 planes landing in the country's airports and allowed the super jumbos to land at four main airports in the country.
This clears the path for Ethihad and Lufthansa to operate flights of the double-décker planes from and to some of the country's busiest airports.
"Now, flights of A380 to India will be allowed to airports which are equipped to handle them," the civil aviation ministry statement said.
"The operations of A380 aircraft would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries," it added.
Lifting the ban of Airbus A380 flights into the country, the ministry of civil aviation said the planes will be allowed to land at the country's four main airports, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Besides Etihad and Lufthansa, the relaxation in rules will benefit carriers like Singapore Airlines and British Airways that operate super-jumbo and fly to India, as also Emirates and Qatar Airways who are yet to take delivery of the A380 aircraft.
Unlike in the case of the Concord, the ban on A380 flights was mainly due to concerns of foreign overcapacity would starve Indian carriers, by grabbing a larger share of international traffic.
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said earlier this month the government was considering removing the restrictions on superjumbo flights.
Emirates, the biggest customer for the A380, and Deutsche Lufthansa have plans to use fly the superjumbos in the country.
Foreign airlines are attracted by the size of the opportunity in India where local passenger traffic may reach 107.2 million by 2016, making it the world's fourth-largest domestic market, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).