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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked Tata Group-owned Air India to repair its aircraft after a passenger took to social media to complains about the plane's shabby condition, reported PTI.

On Monday, a passenger posted some photos on social media which show a broken armrest of Air India's Airbus A320 aircraft with registration number VT-EDF.

As a result, the DGCA asked the airline to check and rectify the problem as soon as possible, the news agency quoted officials as saying. 

The plane will be in Kolkata on Monday night and the repair works will be done there. 

This comes days after the DGCA grounded a SpiceJet aircraft over a passenger's complaint of dirty seats and malfunctioning cabin panels. The SpiceJet plane took to the skies a day later after all the suggested repairs were effected.

The Tata Group took control of Air India on 27 January, after successfully winning the bid for the airline on 8 October last year.

A DGCA circular issued on 19 April said the airline has lost its preferential access to bilateral rights that are needed to operate flights to another country.

For the airlines of a particular country to operate international flights to another country, the two sides have to negotiate and sign a "bilateral air services agreement", which decides how many flights (or seats) per week can be allowed to fly from one country to the other.

Once such an agreement is signed, each country is free to allocate the bilateral rights to its respective airlines.

Even after such flying rights are allocated to an airline, it must have slots at both the airports in order to start flight operations.

A slot is a date and time at which an airline's aircraft is permitted to depart or arrive at an airport.

The slots are allocated by a committee that consists of civil aviation ministry and DGCA officials, airport operators and airlines, among others.

Air India had preferential access to bilateral rights, which are granted under air services agreements signed between two countries – as it was a government-owned national carrier.

With inputs from agencies. 

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