In a special dispensation granted by the civil aviation ministry to the fledgling Vistara airline backed by the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, the full-service carrier will not have to comply with the mandatory route dispersal guidelines (RDG), followed by all Indian airlines, for the first three months of its operations.
Vistara will be launching commercial operations on 9 January, and will initially operate on the Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes.
According to government guidelines, all scheduled airlines are required to take flights to the north-eastern region, Jammu &Kashmir, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep while deploying at least 10 per cent of their capacity on the 12 trunk or category-I routes such as Delhi-Mumbai.
Also, 50 per cent of the capacity deployed on category-I routes must be deployed on category-III routes.
But these rules have been put in abeyance for Vistara. In a letter to the aviation company, the ministry said the deferment of the compliance of RDG was for a period of three months from the day of starting operations.
"The exemption is only a deferment from compliance of the mandatory guidelines for a period of three months and the airline will have to make up for the shortfall in compliance, within six months after the first quarter," the ministry said, adding no further extension would be considered.