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NEW DELHI : As many as four airline companies, including air cargo ventures, have applied for no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) to start scheduled air passengers services and air cargo services, minister of state (civil aviation) V.K. Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

These are SNV Aviation Pvt. Ltd (Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-promoted Akasa Air's holding company), Turbo Megha Airways Pvt. Ltd (a regional airline venture), Jet Freight Logistics Ltd and SpiceXpress & Logistics Pvt. Ltd, which is the cargo arm of SpiceJet that the airline wants to spin off into a separate company.

"Prospective operators are free to assess the aviation demand and participate with their specific business plan. (The) Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) as a nodal Ministry, facilitates an eco system to promote the aviation sector," Singh added.

Among the lot, billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is looking to carve out a place for his upcoming airline venture, Akasa, an ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) model in a highly competitive domestic airlines market with a model that has worked well in Europe and the US.

The airline venture will also see return of IndiGo's former president Aditya Ghosh in aviation, who along with Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and former Jet Airways chief executive officer Vinay Dube are reported to be the co-founders of Akasa.

SpiceJet Ltd, which had last month reported a consolidated loss of 257 crore in the quarter ending on 31 March 2021, had then announced hiving off its growing cargo operations into a separate entity. According to analysts, this will allow the airline to access fresh capital by spinning off its profitable venture into a separate entity.

"As per the civil aviation requirements (CAR), interested airline operators apply to MoCA for obtaining NOC to operate scheduled passenger air transport services. Recently, (the) ministry has dispensed with the issuance of NOC for applicants of non-scheduled operators considering ease of doing business," Singh said on Wednesday.

"However, for scheduled operations, Airlines need to obtain NOC from MoCA as per extant rules/regulations in this regard," he added.

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