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Cabinet clears civil aviation policy, revamps 5/20 rule

Union Cabinet has cleared a new civil aviation policy at its meeting on Wednesday morning. Policy unveils a slew of passenger-friendly measures including capping of airfares at Rs 2,500 for an hour-long flight. It allows new domestic airlines set up in India to fly on international routes.  The Civil Aviation Ministry had sent the proposed policy to Cabinet for approval on June 3.

According to the previous norm, also known as the ‘5/20 rule’, a domestic airline were allowed to go international only after completing five years of domestic flying and operate at least 20 aircraft. But, according to the new rules, new airlines will need to deploy 20 aircraft or 20 per cent of the total fleet size, whichever is higher, on domestic routes in order to secure international flying rights. – The Hindu reported.

A cap of Rs 1300 has been decided for all flights of less than 30-minute duration, sources said. In case of flight cancellations announced within 24 hours of departure, the compensation amount has been enhanced to up to Rs 10,000. The policy provides viability gap funding for airlines to encourage operation on domestic routes. Airlines would no longer need to wait for the five years of operations earlier required before they can begin flying abroad, but must still have 20 jets in their fleet.

Thus, the new policy may benefit the both travellers as well as airline companies.

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