"Under India's route dispersal guidelines, domestic airlines must to fly 10% of their capacity to identified underserved areas. The government has declared a list of incentive destinations after holding meetings with DGCA and AAI officials," civil aviation secretary V Somasundaran said.
The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), a body representing major Indian carriers has, however, suggested that a regional connectivity fund, similar to the one followed internationally, be established. "Under this scheme, every passenger on existing routes would be charged a fee, and that fee will be used to subsidise airline operations for flights to the 87 destinations (see box) mentioned under the guidelines," an FIA member said.
Airline officials are lobbying against making it mandatory to increase capacity, which is equal to that deployed on trunk routes by October 2015. "Each scheduled carrier will have to rework plans. At least 6% of capacity would have to be deployed on trunk routes while shorter duration flights would service remote areas," an analyst with Vistara said.
18/09/14 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror