Gulf carriers will be rubbing their hands with the decision by the India Civil Aviation Ministry to lift restrictions on operating A380s.
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ajit Singh, has given the green light to superjumbo services after consultations with the DGCA, Air India and Airports Authority of India.
Emirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, with 44 in service and 96 on order, stands to benefit most from adding India’s large population flows to its global A380 network, although Etihad and Qatar Airways – both of whom have yet to receive their first aircraft – will no doubt be equally keen to capitalise.
Presently only Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore have the required infrastructure for the A380s – and the decision has equally major implications for many of the country’s other primary and secondary airports, who face the prospect of making the necessary terminal investments or being left behind.
“The operation of A380s will help airports to generate more revenue, give more comfortable and luxurious travel to passengers, liberalise the Civil Aviation milieu in India and boost the image of Indian civil aviation in the international market,” reads a Civil Ministry Aviation statement.
Other significant A380 operators, such as Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, are likely to be eyeing the move positively.
The operations of A380 aircraft would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries.