But according to a statement released by India’s Civil Aviation Ministry, India will permit airline to fly the A380 to the four Indian airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad – that have the infrastructure to handle the double-decker jet.
“Now, flights of A380 to India will be allowed to airports which are equipped to handle them,” the ministry’s statement said. “The operations of A380 aircraft would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral air service agreements with different countries.”
The lifting of the ban on A380 services will allow carriers including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa to operate the double-decker aircraft to the country. Lufthansa is believed to be especially keen – the German national carrier already operates its second-largest aircraft, the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, on routes to India.
Other potential future operators could include Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.
According to the ministry statement, the decision to allow A380 flights was made after consultations with national carrier Air India.
A total of 122 A380s are currently in service with 10 airlines around the world, including 44 with Emirates and 19 with SIA. Kingfisher Airlines was the only Indian airline to have ordered the world’s largest passenger aircraft, but its order was cancelled earlier this month – more than a year after the airline grounded all its flights.
The A380 typically seats around 500 passengers.