Thursday, August 10, 2017

UAE's cheaper flights plan for Indians seeks to make the Emirates a 'weekend getaway'

A bid to remove a limit on the number of airline seats between India and the UAE could turn the Emirates into a "weekend getaway" for millions of Indian families, boosting a key sector of the economy in the process.

Travel industry experts predict lower fares and a major boost if the current agreed capacity - 130,000 seats per week - is lifted later this year. Emirati and Indian officials are set to meet in October to discuss the move.

On Wednesday, the UAE ambassador to India, Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, said more flights "will lead to affordable prices".

The agreed number of seats between the two countries is currently at 100 per cent capacity, WAM reported. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, India has huge scope for increasing travel demand.

Nishant Pitti, the chief executive of EaseMyTrip.com, which has an office in Dubai, said cheaper flights could turn the UAE into “a popular weekend getaway for Indian travellers”, for families for whom that currently isn't an option.

“The UAE is an important tourist destination for Indian travellers,” said Karan Anand the head of relationships at Cox & Kings, one of the oldest travel companies, headquartered in Mumbai. “More flights means less cost.”
10/08/17 Rebecca Bundhun/National

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