Aviation Ministry allows operation of Airbus A-380s
New Delhi: After several years of demands by some major foreign carriers, Civil Aviation Ministry today approved the operations of Airbus A-380s in India at four airports currently equipped to handle these super jumbos.
The restrictions on the fully double-decker planes were lifted after weeks of consultation between Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India and Airports Authority of India.
An A-380 can seat 850 passengers in an all-economy configuration, but those having a three-class configuration can accommodate between 550-600 passengers.
The operations of the A-380s would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries, an official spokesperson said.
Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa have been pressing the government for several years to allow them fly these super jumbos into India.
The A-380s would now be allowed to airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are equipped to handle them and have the required infrastructure.
It has also been decided that wherever the entitlements were not expressed in terms of seats per week, these would be rationalised and converted into seats per week before allowing A-380 operations to India from these countries. This exercise would be carried through mutual negotiations between India and other countries through Memorandums of Understanding, the spokesperson said.
The ASAs, which specifically prohibit A-380 operations to India, would be amended before the operations of these airplanes from any country are allowed.
All the four airports would also have to get DGCA certification and make adequate preparation in terms of various services required, he added.
Nine of the 10 international airlines that currently fly the A-380s have scheduled flights into India. There are over 110 A-380s currently flying worldwide.