India lifts ban on Airbus A380s

NEW DELHI Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:44am EST

People look at an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, as it lands during India's first civil aviation exhibition and conference, ''India Aviation 2008'', in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad October 16, 2008. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

People look at an Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, as it lands during India's first civil aviation exhibition and conference, ''India Aviation 2008'', in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad October 16, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Krishnendu Halder

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will allow Airbus A380 planes to land at the country's four main airports, the civil aviation ministry said on Monday, lifting restrictions on the superjumbos flying into the country.

The four airports equipped to handle the A380s are in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, the ministry said.

The ban on A380s was mainly due to concerns that foreign carriers may further hurt state-run Air India by grabbing a larger share of international traffic.

The rule change will benefit carriers like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways that operate the super-jumbo and fly to India, as well A380 customers like Etihad and Qatar Airways who have yet to take delivery of the aircraft.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said earlier this month the government was considering removing the restrictions.

"Now, flights of A380 to India will be allowed to airports which are equipped to handle them," the civil aviation ministry statement said.

"The operations of A380 aircraft would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries," it said.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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