NEW DELHI: Heeding to the demands of private airlines, government on Friday announced throwing open of 11 new international routes which will allow them and state-run Air India to further expand their global network.
The sectors opened up are Mumbai-Dar-es-Salaam, Delhi-Guangzhou, Delhi-Yangon, Delhi-Tashkent, Delhi-Ho-Chi-Minh City, Delhi-Hanoi, Delhi-Almaty, Delhi-Macao, Delhi-Addis Ababa, Delhi-Melbourne and Delhi-Sydney, officials said.
Private airlines had been asking the government to open up international routes under the bilateral Air Services Agreements (ASAs) between India and various countries, on which Air India so far had the first right to operate.
The decision to allow all Indian scheduled carriers to use the air traffic rights under the existing ASAs, was taken after Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh reviewed their utilisation, officials said.
With this decision, the international services of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express would rise from 430 flights per week now to 471 each week this summer. Similarly, the number of global flights of all private carriers would also go up.
The private airlines would continue to operate on these international sectors till such time they reach the maximum permissible limit under ASAs, which fix the number of flights and seats to be operated each week by the designated carriers of each country, they said.
In order to safeguard the interests of Air India which enjoyed the first right of refusal on these routes, the Ministry decided that the national carrier's operational plan would receive due consideration in allocation of the traffic rights and entitlements.