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Friday 03 December, 2004

Civil Aviation Auth.

CAA Decision on India Routes

Civil Aviation Authority
03 December 2004

News Release

3 December 2004


Following the hearing held on 11 and 12 November to decide how to allocate the
21 frequencies newly available for UK airlines to serve various points in India,
the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that it considers its statutory
duties in this case are best served by awarding:

•         seven services to British Airways, four of which are to be operated on
the Chennai (Madras) route and three to Bangalore;

•         four services to British Midland Airways to be operated on the Mumbai
(Bombay) route; and

•         ten services to Virgin Atlantic, seven of which are to be used on the
Delhi route and three on Mumbai.

The frequencies, which become available in three tranches from Winter 2004, were
secured under the latest bilateral air services agreement between the
Governments of the UK and India, signed in September.  British Airways currently
operate all 19 services per week available to UK airlines under the terms of the
previous agreement between the two countries.  Following this decision, the
distribution of rights will be as follows:

Airline         Current distribution of     Newly allocated     Allocation after 
                rights                      rights              decision

BA              19                          7                          26
BM              0                           4                          4
Virgin          0*                          10                         10

*Until 30 November 2004 Virgin operated three services to Delhi under a
commercial arrangement with Air India

The CAA has decided to award the rights in this order:

For Winter 2004:

    Seven rights to operate to Delhi awarded to Virgin.

The proposal that Virgin put forward suggested that Virgin could operate up to
seven services per week between London and Mumbai and Delhi during the Winter
2004 season. The CAA is therefore of the view that early utilisation of all the
Delhi rights by Virgin would be both feasible and desirable.

For Summer 2005:

    Four rights to operate to Mumbai awarded to BM
    Three rights to operate to Mumbai awarded to Virgin

The CAA expects BM to operate from the beginning of the season, as they had
proposed for their daily service, and for Virgin to do the same.

For Winter 2005:

    Four rights to operate to Chennai awarded to BA
    Three rights to operate to Bangalore awarded to BA

The CAA expects that these services will be operated from the beginning of the
2005 Winter season.

The full document is available on the CAA Website in the '
Economic' section then click on 'News'.

For further information contact Chris Mason on:  0207 453 6026.

Notes to Editors

1. The CAA is responsible for licensing UK airlines.  The CAA's decision was
made in accordance with procedures established to deal with situations in which
the terms of a bilateral air services agreement prevent two or more UK airlines
from operating all of the services they plan to provide. Following notification
from the Secretary of State for Transport that a problem of 'scarce bilateral
capacity' exists, the CAA makes a proposal to vary the licences of the airlines
concerned.  A public hearing is then held at which the airlines put their cases
to a Panel of the CAA.  The decision of the CAA is subject to appeal to the
Secretary of State.

2. The CAA was advised by the Secretary of State that under the bilateral
arrangements between the UK and the Government of India UK airlines may
currently operate 19 services a week between the UK and India.  Under the terms
of the new bilateral agreement  UK airlines may operate a further 21 services a
week, of which seven are available in Winter 2004/5, seven in Summer 2005 and a
further seven in Winter 2005/6, of which seven can be used to Delhi, seven to
Mumbai and the other seven to be divided between two or more other points in
India.  The CAA was therefore required to allocate the 21 additional services a
week, which become available as set out above.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange                                                           

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