New Delhi: With government attempts to provide relief to struggling domestic airlines not making any headway, what with State finance ministers and airport operators refusing to accommodate their concerns, carriers are now lobbying the government to relax norms enabling them to commence international operations.
With international price of fuel considerably cheaper, about 35 per cent less than at home, carriers are calculating that permission to fly abroad may provide them the proverbial kiss of life.
With most carriers having placed massive aircraft orders before the price of aviation fuel began to spiral out of control, the government is looking for ways and means to provide the airline industry some succor. A downturn for the airline industry also signals a drop in air travel within the country, which begins to have a spiralling effect on other sectors of the economy.
Senior government officials now say that norms might be relaxed to help the financially bleeding aviation sector and, very likely, the stipulation that carriers must complete five years of domestic flying before they start operating overseas may be relaxed to just two or three years.
Apart from providing better utilisation of existing and new aircraft, international services will provide access to cheaper fuel, which, domestic carriers feel, will provide a massive relief to their operating costs.