New carrier Vistara has been allowed a three-month exemption from complying with the requirement of operating flights to the financially unviable regions like the North East, the government said today.
Tata-SIA Airline -- a joint venture between Tatas and Singapore Airlines -- is operating Vistara, which started its flights in January this year.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said that the Tata-SIA Airline was allowed deferment of the compliance of route dispersal guidelines for three months from the day of starting its operations.
"The exemption is only a deferment from compliance of the mandatory guidelines for a period of three months and the airline will have to make up for this short fall in compliance within six months after the first quarter.
"No further extension of period would be considered," he said.
Under the route dispersal guidelines, domestic carriers are required to operate flights to financially unviable regions such as the North East, among other requirements.
In response to a question on whether Vistara has so far not covered even the North East region and other important sectors due to limited number of aircraft, Sharma replied in the affirmative.
According to the Minister, the airline has suggested certain modification in the existing international 5/20 flying norms and route dispersal guidelines.
At present, only domestic carriers that are in operation for five years and have a fleet of 20 planes are allowed to fly overseas.
Vistara currently has a fleet of five planes.
"The reasons offered by the airline for revision of international flying norms include enhanced connectivity for India and growth in international tourism," Sharma said.