What is the meaning of ‘5/20 Rule’?

The ‘5/20 Rule’ has been proposed by the Indian Aviation Ministry which requires the national carriers to be in 5 years of operation and a fleet of minimum 20 aircraft to be able to fly overseas. This applies to all the commercial aviation organizations which undertake passenger operations. The rule has come under strong criticism from the airlines as it is seen as antagonistic to the growth of the sector by the major players. This has come in the way of airlines taking on profitable international routes before they have a flying experience of 5 years and also a fleet of at least 20 aircrafts. India is the only country which has such strict regulations on the aviation sector.

The prime reason behind the rule is that the airlines should have sound financial and security credentials in the domestic airspace before they can start their operations in international skies. However, the rule has been opposed even by the experts who believe that scrapping the same will promote new players to enter the sector and thereby bring in more investment. The airlines which are already flying in international segment as per the conditions of the rule are against the suggestion of scrapping the same as it will provide an unfair advantage to the new entrants.