New Delhi: Low cost carriers, IndiGo and SpiceJet have got the nod from aircraft acquisition committee (AAC) of the civil aviation ministry to import more aircraft.
“The AAC, headed by S.Machendranathan, the additional secretary and financial adviser of ministry of civil aviation, has cleared the proposal of IndiGo to import four Airbus 320 and SpiceJet to import three Boeing 737 aircraft recently,” official sources said.
The proposal now awaits the final nod from the civil aviation minister Ajit Singh before the two airlines are allowed to import the planes.
The decision to allow IndiGo to import more aircraft has come at a time when it is facing problems from the Government in importing 16 A320 aircraft which is part of the order of original 100 aircraft for which the airline already has in-principle approval.
“The AAC had earlier given them permission to bring in five aircraft. Now they have got the permission to bring four more as they said they had to maintain the delivery schedule,” the sources said.
IndiGo currently has 63 aircraft. It plans to induct three of the five cleared planes this year and two more in this fiscal.
The ministry has asked IndiGo to submit detailed plans on how it intends to use the aircraft, as the ministry is in process of finalising new norms for schedule airlines to fly to tier II and III cities in the new Route Disbursal Guidelines to enhance regional connectivity.
“The Government is to soon receive two reports on enhancing regional connectivity. These reports would be merged into one and the new norms would have to be approved by the Union Cabinet before being implemented,” a senior Government official said.
Sources said IndiGo does not have small aircraft like ATRs to operate flights to tier II and tier III cities but plans to acquire some as “they also felt necessary to have them in order to expand their operations.”