The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked airlines to surrender routes that they haven’t operated flights in even after six months of being allocated. The move comes after the aviation regulator found some routes being underutilised, and realised that these could benefit domestic airlines like Go Air, Vistara and Air Asia, which are drawing up plans for flying international routes over the next two years.
“The traffic rights allocated to an airline for a particular schedule period shall be fully utilized by it during the same schedule period. Failure to do so shall result in the unutilized rights reverting back to the aviation ministry at the end of the schedule period,” DGCA said in a notification on Tuesday.
Till now, airlines were allowed to carry forward the route allocation meant to be used in the summer schedule to the following winter schedule. Airlines follow a summer and winter schedule in India and often effect major changes to their schedules due to climatic conditions like fog.
“The defaulter airline may also apply afresh, if it so wishes, but it will be given the lowest priority among applicants, during allocation of rights. So, if say a Mumbai-Bali route is opted for by one carrier, but not operated, another airline can stake claim to it on priority for the next season,” said DGCA officials.
The regulator has also done away with the need for airlines to seek approval on code share agreements (arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight) from the civil aviation ministry. Vita Vea JerseyShare This