The UAE has increased its pressure on the Indian government to increase the number of seats between the two countries by an additional 50,000 per week. This development could be fatal for Indian airlines.
Letter to Aviation Minister from UAE Aviation Authority
In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Director-General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Mohammed A Ahli requested India to permit Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Kannur, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, and Pune to become additional points of call for Dubai carriers. These would rank among the most lucrative routes for UAE carriers if approved.
It should come as no surprise that Indian airlines are adamantly opposed to adding more seats for Gulf carriers. Some of the most lucrative routes between India and the UAE are already run by Emirates, the flag carrier of the UAE. Currently, the airline operates out of nine Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Indian government is under increasing pressure from the UAE to permit more flights from India. Tim Clark, president of Emirates, had earlier disregarded Indian carriers’ objections and requested that the Indian government open up more routes.
“The Dubai-India air transport sector continues to be the cornerstone of all such businesses as well as in bringing the people and exchange of ideas between our two nations”.Mohammed Ahli wrote in a letter to Scindia
The governments of India and the UAE have taken a number of steps to further promote trade and commerce as well as cooperation in various areas, he added
In light of the aforementioned, Ahli continued, it is crucial that “our two States reach an agreement to update the entitlements of the respective designated airlines.”
“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.”
“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,” the director-general of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority requested of Scindia.
As for adding “Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Kannur, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Pune as additional points of call for Dubai carriers,” he said, “We would specifically like… enhancement of bilateral capacity between Dubai – India and vice versa by an additional 50,000 seats per week in each direction.”
A “keen interest” to serve other Indian secondary cities where the Airports Authority of India recently upgraded to meet international standards was also expressed by the Dubai official.
By granting bilateral rights that permit each other’s airlines to operate services with a specific number of seats, seats are allocated between nations.
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