Thursday, August 17, 2017

India may increase Dubai seat entitlements by 6,000 seats a week

New Delhi: India and Dubai are likely to finalise an agreement to increase the seat entitlement by 6,000 seats a week. However, the outcome of the talks depends on Indian carriers agreeing to hold talks without any commitment of getting preferred slots at Dubai's main airport.

This comes almost a year after the ministry turned down a similar request from Dubai. The talks have resumed as Indian carriers have fully utilised the current capacity entitlements. Of the current entitlement, 66,504 seats on the sector designated airlines of both India and Dubai are utilising capacity to the full extent.
According to an official of a private airline, the civil aviation ministry official has asked Indian carriers whether the agreement can be increased without any guarantee of slots. Simultaneously the ministry has also asked if the Indian carriers will use the Al-Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali which is 37 kilometres away from the main city of Dubai. "The civil aviation ministry sent a questionnaire to airlines asking if it is okay to hold talks without any guarantee of slots at Dubai's main airport," the official said. Lobby group Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) which represents IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go Air and Jet Airways has asked the government to ensure that they get preferred slots at Dubai airport. However, Dubai Airport in the past has said that the allocation of slots is independent of bilateral agreements.
Mohammed Ahil, Director General of the Civil Aviation, the governing body of aviation activities in the Gulf state has written to ministry that there is a further requirement of increasing the number of seats as carriers from Dubai was not being able to expand operations in India for lack of flying rights.

17/08/17 Business Standard

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