The UAE has increased pressure on the Indian government to increase seats between the two countries by another 50,000 per week.
This has the potential to deal a lethal blow to airlines in India.
Dubai civil Aviation Authority director-general Mohammed A Ahli has written to aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and asked India to allow Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Kannur, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Pune to become additional points of call for Dubai carriers.
If this is given the go ahead these would be among the most lucrative routes for the UAE carriers.
Indian carriers are strongly opposed to the potential development of adding more seats for the Gulf airlines.
The UAE’s flagship carrier, Emirates, already operates some of the most profitable routes between India and the UAE.
It currently operates from nine cities in India namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The UAE has been mounting pressure on the Indian government to allow more flights from there.
Earlier Emirates President Tim Clark had deflected opposition from Indian airlines saying that the Indian government should open up more routes.
Mohammed Ahli wrote to Scindia that both governments had adopted steps to further promote trade and commerce as well as cooperation in various areas.
Urge for agreement
He also noted that “the Dubai-India air transport sector continues to be the cornerstone of all such businesses as well as in bringing together the people and exchange of ideas between our two nations.”
Therefore an “agreement between our two States to update the entitlements of the respective designated airlines is of vital importance”.
The full quote goes as follows-
“As your esteemed offices will be aware, the current seat capacity of 65,200 seats was established vide the terms of the MoU between our respective Governments in 2014. In the past seven years not only has there been a very strong growth of passenger and freight between Dubai and India, but also both our countries have been at the forefront of major developments in aviation – whether they be new state-of-the-art airports/terminals, new technology aircraft or other aviation-related technological advancements. With more than 1.4 million expatriate Indians in Dubai — a number that has grown steadily over the past decade years — as well as the ever increasing trade and cultural exchanges between our two countries, we feel that the need for enhancing air connectivity between Dubai and India is stronger than ever before.”
Asking for bilateral meeting
He further directed Scindia to “consider calling for a bilateral meeting of our respective Civil Aviation Authorities to explore the possibility of enhancing capacity and services between Dubai and India further”.
He said, “specifically like… enhancement of bilateral capacity between Dubai – India and vice versa by an additional 50,000 seats per week in each direction” and add “Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Kannur, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Pune as additional points of call for Dubai carriers”.
Not stopping at that, he also expressed a “keen interest to serve other secondary cities in India where the Airports Authority of India has recently upgraded to international standards”.
Seats are allocated between countries by giving bilateral rights that allow each other’s airlines to operate services with a specific number of seats.
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