Logistics

Air India loses preferential access to bilateral rights needed to operate flights in another country

Abhishek Law | Updated on: Apr 25, 2022
Following privatisation, Air India will no longer have preferential access to bilateral rights which were available to it as a national carrier. It is now on a par with other private airlines

Following privatisation, Air India will no longer have preferential access to bilateral rights which were available to it as a national carrier. It is now on a par with other private airlines

This means that the airlines will not be prioritised in the allocation of international traffic rights from now on

New Delhi, April 25Tata-owned Air India will no longer have preferential access to bilateral rights that are needed to operate flights to another country. This means that the airlines will not be prioritised in the allocation of international traffic rights from now on.

The removal of the clause, post Air India’s privatisation, puts it on par with other private airlines for allocation of traffic rights.

The development comes after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) removed a clause that allowed the carrier an advantage over other private carriers, when it was a national carrier, as per the revised guidelines issued on April 19.

A senior DGCA offfical also confirmed the same to BusinessLine.

The strategic divestment of Air India took place on January 27 with the Tata Group taking full control of the airline.

As per the previous rules, “due consideration shall be given to operational plans submitted by Air India before allocation of the traffic rights to other eligible applicants.”

Air India had preferential access to bilateral rights, which are granted under air services agreements signed between two countries, since it was India’s national carrier.

Typically, governments of different countries discuss bilateral air service agreements where it decides on the number of flights, availability of landing slots, destinations that a carrier can operate between the two countries, and so on. The entitlements include number of seats, or flights allowed per week (including reciprocal ones). In India, it is the government who owns these entitlements and subsequently allocated them to an airline upon request.

India has signed air service agreements with 121 countries.

Published on April 25, 2022
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