Panel to study opening of Gulf to pvt airlines

The government is taking the first steps towards opening of the Gulf region to private airlines — by setting a high-level committee under the aegis of the aviation ministry — to examine the contentious issue.

At present, the Gulf region is reserved for national carriers Air-India and Indian Airlines for a period of three years which expires in 2008. If government allows private carriers to fly to this region, Jet Airways and Air Sahara — which have been lobbying for opening it up — would be the main beneficiaries.

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