A disagreement has broken out between IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) on one side and its domestic rivals SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l), Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l), and GoAir (G8, Mumbai Int'l) on the other regarding the reallocation of ex-Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai Int'l) international traffic rights, The Economic Times has reported.

The Indian government has previously signalled that it will prioritise Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) when reallocating international traffic rights left unused after the grounding of Jet Airways. The flag carrier is expected to utilise around half of all available rights.

According to the plan, which has been opposed by SpiceJet, Vistara, and GoAir, the government then intended to allocate the remainder of the rights to other carriers proportionally to their current market share from India. This would effectively lead to IndiGo taking the vast majority of the rights not scooped by Air India.

SpiceJet, Vistara, and GoAir said that such a method would exacerbate the existing market domination and lead to a monopoly by the largest LCC.

"This is an unprecedented situation, as a large number quota has been made available on busy international routes and should be evenly awarded to airlines, including the new ones, which have just announced the launch of international services," an unnamed executive of one of the airlines said.

SpiceJet additionally objected to Air India having the right of first refusal. The airline said in a statement that while it understands the premise of a quick reallocation of some rights to the flag carrier in order to lower fares and reduce reliance on foreign airlines, it should only be a temporary solution.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, Air India together with Air India Express currently has a 19.4% market share by capacity in terms of international flights from India. IndiGo's market share stands at 9.1%, while Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) comes third with an 8.8% market share. SpiceJet, the third largest Indian airline on the international market, has a 4.2% market share out of the country.

Separately, AirAsia India (I5, Chennai) protested against not being included in the pool of airlines available to scoop ex-Jet international rights. The LCC does not currently operate international flights and has not yet been cleared by the government to do so, although it expects to be green-lighted shortly. Vistara also currently flies exclusively domestically but it has already been okayed for international flights.