More new airlines to follow AirAsia, Tata-SIA into Indian skies

India's aviation sector will soon get crowded with several more new airlines taking to the skies in the coming months. The government has already granted licences to four of the six companies that sought permits to launch air operations while two more are in the process of being granted licences.

More new airlines to follow AirAsia, Tata-SIA into Indian skiesThe Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted Air Operator's Permit (AOP) or flying licence to four airlines, including AirAsia India, Ligare Aviation Limited, Quickjet Cargo Airlines and LEPL Projects Limited while those of Tata-SIA Airlines Limited and Air Pegasus Limited are in the process of finalisation, minister of state for civil aviation G M Siddeshwara has said.

While AirAsia India has started operations, Tata-SIA Airlines, a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has announced plans to launch flights by September-end or October, he said.

Tata-SIA Airlines is expected to be granted an AOP soon after the DGCA recently overruled objections from the Federation of Indian Airlines against the grant of licence to Tata-SIA to launch a full-service airline.

The AOP to Tata-SIA, when granted, would be subject to the orders of the Delhi High Court in a case challenging foreign direct investment in new Indian carriers.

The civil aviation ministry has granted an initial No Objection Certificate (NOC) to two other airlines, Air Carnival and Zav Airways, to start scheduled regional services.

While Air Carnival proposes to operate in the Southern region, Zav Airways would fly in the Northeastern and Eastern regions, officials said.

Earlier, Ministry officials said NOC has also been granted to AirOne Aviation, Zexus Air Limited, Premier Air and Turbo Megha.

Non-scheduled operator AirOne, headed by a CEO of the erstwhile Air Sahara, is understood to have plans to launch a scheduled airline.

The new airlines that were granted AOP or NOC include non-scheduled air operators and air charter firms converting to scheduled operators to fly on routes not touched by the existing scheduled airlines.

The move is aimed at promoting air travel to unconnected destinations, according to civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.