Trying to change 5/20 ‘anarchic’ rule: Raju
Terming the 5/20 rule which allows Indian carriers to fly abroad as "anarchic", India's Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday said he was trying to change it so that new airlines can connect with foreign destinations.
Raju said, in Lok Sabha, that the government wants more Indian airlines to fly to foreign destinations but as long as the 5/20 rule is not changed, they cannot fly abroad. The rule entails that an airline can fly to international destinations only if it has served within the country for five years and has a 20-aircraft fleet.
"The more the merrier. It is a fact that 5/20 rule came from a particular Cabinet at a particular point of time. To my mind, it is an anarchic type of thing. It prevents the Indian registered airlines to function. But as long as that rule is there, we have to follow it.
"I am trying to change the rule and if I have my way, it will happen," he said during Question Hour.
Raju's reply came when Congress member Shashi Tharoor said the Kerala government had tried to set up a state airline called 'Air Kerala' to cater to the vast amount of traffic of Keralites going to Gulf countries since private carriers were exploitative, but could not do so due to the 5/20 rule.
"It is our duty to see that people are not exploited. In fact, airfares before 1994 were controlled by the Government.