The Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) has asked the ministry to remove the controversial 5/20 rule and attacked the Federation of Indian Airlines, which is lobbying against the removal of the rule.
In a letter addressed to Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey, the association said: “It must be completely scrapped and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) must be empowered to consider giving licences to all those airlines that have financial muscle.” Business Standard has seen a copy of the letter.
The controversial 5/20 rule makes it mandatory for an airline to have five years of domestic operations and 20 aircraft to become eligible for flying abroad.
With a civil aviation policy on the cards, airlines are divided over the proposed removal of the rule. IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and GoAir have opposed doing away with the rule. But new airlines such as Vistara and AirAsia want the rule is removed.
The letter also said the FIA, which represents the older airlines, acts as a cartel and takes joint decisions that harm the interests of passengers. “It is pertinent to note that FIA is nothing but an organisation established for self-serving causes and does not care to address any other issue, including those of the passengers and their grievances,” the letter said. ” It is also pertinent to note that all airlines registered with DGCA are not allowed to become members of this body which goes on to show that this is nothing but an entity to lobby when required for self-serving their own cause.”