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Indian aviation suffers losses after charter ban

Foreign private charters benefit, see 30% increase in volume.

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Indian aviation suffers losses after charter ban
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After aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) refused to allow private charter flights to fly outside India from August, the situation was exploited by foreign private charters, leading to losses worth several crores of rupees for Indian tourism and business. There was an increase in over 30% of foreign private charters coming into the country, claim a body of private charters operators.

According to the figures available with DGCA, India sees around 9,000 flights to foreign destinations by private charters, which corresponds to around 700-800 per month. The issue heated up in the last week of August when the DGCA, keeping in mind safety issues raised by UN aviation watchdog International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), decided to debar all private business charter aircrafts from flying abroad until they cleared the new certification.

An operator has to file an application with the DGCA seeking permission to fly outside the country on a given date. However, since the ban came into force from late August, no such permissions were given.

During the same period, the numbers of foreign-registered business charter aircrafts, particularly from Dubai, increased to about 1,000 flights from 700 in a month, an increase of over 30%. “The foreign charter operators were in great demand during this period, especially the ones from Dubai,” said Rajesh Bali, secretary of Business Aircraft Operators Association.

After the decision in August, private charter operators declared that they would abide by the change in guidelines in due time but the new certification process could not be started suddenly.
After operators submitted fresh certification applications, permissions to fly abroad were given beginning October, albeit at a slow pace, with just 10 applications being cleared so far. “Shortage of DGCA staff seems to be the problem now in getting new certifications cleared,” added Bali.

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