The airline has submitted its new position on the 5/20 norm to the Civil Aviation Ministry, which has to take a final call on the issue before sending it to the Union Cabinet for approval, sources said.

Under the rule popularly called 5/20, a domestic carrier is allowed to fly abroad only after completing five years of domestic operations and having a minimum of 20 aircraft fleet.

Air India's latest stand on the issue has come under the new Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani. It had earlier taken the position, along with other airlines like Jet Airways, that status quo should be maintained on the matter.

Significantly, two start-up carriers--AirAsia India and Vistara, which have investments from Tata group, are lobbying for removal of 5/20 rule and allowing them to fly abroad even as established players under their umbrella organisation , Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) have opposed any change.

FIA comprises four domestic airlines--Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir.

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