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India lifts curbs on superjumbos

India has lifted a ban on Airbus superjumbo planes, allowing flights on the world's largest passenger jet into New Delhi, Mumbai and two other cities equipped to handle the aircraft.

Despite ever-growing passenger numbers, India had restricted flights on Airbus A380s in 2008 in an effort to help struggling domestic carriers cope with global competition.

Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said that lifting the restrictions would help bring more revenue to airports and boost India's international reputation as a flight destination.

The ministry said Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa have expressed interest in flying A380s into India. Only airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore can accommodate the double-decker planes, which can seat up to 850 passengers.

Air travel has been growing at annual rates of 10%-20% in India.

AP

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