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With the civil aviation ministry easing the rules for Indian airlines, the companies can now take wide-body planes on wet lease for up to one year. The step has been taken to pursue the efforts for making the country a key international hub for air traffic, according to the news agency PTI.

Till now, wet leasing of wide-body planes was allowed only for up to six months.

A senior ministry official informed that the rules have been relaxed and airlines that seek to operate wide-body planes will be permitted to operate such aircraft on wet lease for up to one year.

IndiGo on Sunday said that it has approached the civil aviation ministry and received a communication conveying the ministry's approval to allow Indian carriers to wet/damp lease aircraft for a period of six months extendable by another six months, as per PTI reports.

Such relaxation shall be available to all Indian carriers on their specific request and the ministry will consider the same based on international destinations that the airline intends to operate, it said in an official statement.

"We have plans for inducting B777 aircraft on wet/damp lease basis during the current winter schedule," the airline said, adding that it is currently working on finalizing the contract for the wet/damp lease.

Last month, aviation regulator DGCA permitted IndiGo to wet lease wide-body Boeing planes from Turkish Airlines for up to six months. Under the wet lease arrangement, planes are leased along with the operating crew and engineers, PTI reported. 

The ministry official further said Indian airlines that seek to operate planes on wet lease to the United States and Europe will be given permission to continue with that arrangement for upto one year.

He also added that the idea of allowing wet leasing of planes for a longer period will help Indian carriers to operate more wide-body aircraft.

According to the ministry official, Air India is also being stabilized and will take more time before they acquire more wide planes. Currently, Air India is dry leasing planes as it expands operations.

 

(With PTI inputs)

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