DGCA extends Open Sky policy for foreign carriers till Feb-end

New Delhi: The government has extended its limited period 'open sky' policy to February in an attempt to encourage India-bound tourists. Under the policy, foreign airlines could deploy additional capacity during the peak season, which was earlier restricted to December and January.

With permission now available for additional capacity deployment in February all foreign carriers, such as, the Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines will now be able to offer more seats through extra flights and larger aircraft.

Foreign airlines have experienced an occupancy rate of more than 80% on their flights to and from India during the peak travel season. Gulf-based Emirates, for instance, has forecast a seat factor of 84% during February and March this year.

The extension of the period has been granted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) particularly on the request of a number of global carriers, including Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.

The period has now been extended to end of February 2008.