Saturday, July 22, 2017

No extra seats to Gulf carriers in festive season: Indian airlines to govt

New Delhi: Indian carriers have opposed the government’s decision to give excess bilateral to Dubai carriers in peak festive season. This comes around the time when both sides are negotiating over extra seats. According to a letter sent by Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) to the ministry of civil aviation, the airlines have opposed the ministry’s decision to extra 5,500 seats to carriers of Emirates and flydubai- the designated carriers of Dubai.
“ It is our earnest request that UAE carriers should not be allowed to operate extra flights in excess of their capacity entitlements as the existing capacity entitlements cater to the traffic demand between India and Dubai,” FIA wrote on 20 July. FIA is the lobby group representing major Indian private airlines- IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Go Air. In between them, they have more than 80 percent of market share.
The lobby group has also said that due to the downturn in West Asia, Gulf carriers want to tap into the Indian traffic which is at its peak during August, September. “This will vitiate the level playing field between the airlines of both sides,” the letter said.
The seat allocation between India and Gulf countries have always been a contentious issue with Indian airlines often complaining that it is pitted against them. The federal auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2011 report pointed out that the government is increasing the seat entitlement to Gulf even though Indian airlines were struggling for slots at Dubai airport.
22/07/17 Arindam Majumdar/Business Standard