According to the current norms, Indian airlines are required to have at least five years of operational experience and a fleet of a minimum of 20 aircraft (known as the 5/20 rule) for starting international services.
A senior official in the civil aviation ministry said, “There is a lot of opposition from domestic airlines, as most of them meet the current requirements for flying international. They have said restrictions are now being considered for removal taking into account the interests of newer ventures. We are examining all aspects. Internal consultations are on.”
Abolition of the 5/20 rule was scheduled to be cleared by the Cabinet before the electoral code came into effect on March 5 this year. However, the meeting was cancelled putting on hold the possibly the last policy change considered by former Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.
The abolition of 5/20 rule is being opposed by Federation of India Airlines (FIA), which had earlier this year shot off a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Lavasa, saying: “Considering that all airlines have in the process of fulfilling their obligation incurred substantial losses through domestic operations, it would be unacceptable for the government to now consider revising the policy by the removal of the 5/20 rule in order to benefit the international airlines' joint ventures, which are under consideration and approval.”
23/07/14 Business Standard