The Indian government has declined permission for US-Based United Airlines (UA) to establish a codeshare agreement with Middle East Carrier Emirates (EK) on routes originating from India.
This decision stems from the absence of a traffic rights agreement between India and Dubai for these specific routes.
This development disrupts the significant partnership that was forged between the two airlines last year. Which aimed to bolster their presence and connectivity in India.
Codeshare flights enable airlines to collaborate in marketing a particular route. Thereby expanding their network and optimizing seat occupancy on their aircraft.
Indian Govt Denied United Emirates Codeshare
“United Airlines approached the Indian government seeking authorization to include their airline code on our flights originating from India. But the government has not granted permission for this arrangement,” explained EK President Tim Clark in response to a query from ET.
The proposed codeshare agreement encompasses 27 destinations within the Emirates’ network. With a significant number of them being in India.
Government officials informed ET that the bilateral agreement between India and Dubai does not permit a third airline to utilize the allocated seats.
Due to India’s position, United Airlines will face repercussions. As it has been compelled to suspend its direct flights from New Delhi.
The closure of Russian airspace for US carriers has led to a substantial rise in operating costs for American carriers. Subsequently leading United to cancel four routes, including San Francisco to New Delhi and Newark to Mumbai.
According to United CEO Scott Kirby, if the Russian airspace were to become accessible, the airline would promptly augment its capacity to India.
To encourage Indian carriers to operate wide-body aircraft and establish direct connectivity to North America and Europe, India has temporarily halted the expansion of flying rights to Middle Eastern countries.
Tim Clark expressed that this policy has adversely affected both EK and India. As the airline has been unable to expand since 2015.
Both Indian and UAE carriers are permitted to operate a maximum of 60,000 seats per week. Subsequently, their allocated quota is nearly depleted.
According to Clark, India has historically been hesitant to grant access to the Emirates. Which he finds perplexing.
He believes that this approach is disadvantageous for all parties involved. Considering India’s robust GDP growth and significant non-resident Indian population who have a desire to travel. Clark suggests that such a protectionist stance hinders the growth of domestic airlines.
Clark also points out the example of Turkey. Where opening up its aviation sector and strengthening its own airline has led to Istanbul becoming a major global hub for connecting flights.
Emirates United Codeshare
Emirates customers now have simpler access to a wider range of U.S. destinations thanks to the activation of their codeshare agreement between the United and Emirates.
Further, Customers of Emirates will now be able to travel to three of the largest business hubs in the country, Chicago, Houston, or San Francisco, and connect quickly to a vast network of domestic U.S. points on flights run by United.
Due to the establishment of the partnership, Emirates passengers traveling to the United States can now anticipate entry to more than 150 American cities through the three gateways.
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