The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the much-awaited civil aviation policy bill which has been pending with the government since last couple of months. With this new civil aviation policy, the flyers are promise cheaper tickets, quicker refunds, low fee on excess baggage and many more.
Under the new policy, journeys with 30-minute air time will have a cap at Rs 1,500 and those with one-hour air time at Rs 2,500. Cancellation fees cannot go beyond the basic fare. Also, refunds will be provided within 15 days of the cancelled ticket or flight. Cancellation of special and promotional fare tickets will also be eligible for refunds.
The Cabinet has also tweaked the 5/20 rule that prevented Indian airlines from flying overseas unless they have operated for at least five years and have a fleet of 20 aircraft. Now, any domestic airline can start international operations if it puts higher of 20 aircraft or 20% of total capacity on domestic routes.
In case of checked-in baggage, the airlines would be charging Rs 100 a kg for baggage in excess of 15 kg and up to 20 kg. At present, Rs 300 is levied for every kg of baggage beyond the 15-kg limit. Only Air India allows free baggage up to 23 kg.
The policy also touches upon improving the employability of the commercial pilot licence (CPL) holders, who are rendered jobless after their course because of the mismatch in the demand and supply of pilots.