Budget carrier GoAir expects to complete the route feasibility study for its proposed international operations within a few months, sources said.
The Nusli Wadia-promoted private carrier, which currently has 18 aircraft, will automatically become eligible for overseas operations in July when it is expected to induct the 20th aircraft.
After this, the airline will approach the government for necessary approvals, sources said.
The existing rules require domestic carriers to be in operation for at least five years and have a fleet of a minimum of 20 aircraft to be eligible to fly on international routes. The rule is being amended and the aviation ministry has to moved a cabinet note for amendment, but it is unlikely to happen in the near future in view of general elections due in April-May.
“At present we are carrying out a route feasibility study towards our goal of flying international, which we expect to complete in the next few months,” GoAir sources said.
The airline recently inducted 18th aircraft and with two more joining the fleet between April and July, it will become eligible to fly international.
The routes being evaluated are spread across Southeast Asia and the Gulf, the sources said, adding, “we will do only those sectors which have a short turnaround time, as a large part of the operations will remain domestic”.
The airline plans to operate three-four overseas destinations to begin with, and then scale it up.
As a part of its three-year business plan, the airline will deploy up to 10 per cent of its capacity on the international routes, GoAir chief executive Girgio De Roni had said last year.
After increasing the bilateral traffic rights between India and Abu Dhabi 4-fold to 50,000 seats a week last April, the government hiked the bilateral air traffic rights between India and Dubai by 11,000 seats per week in a hurried manner last week.