Saturday, October 07, 2017

Surat, India courts international carriers

Flydubai is one of several international airlines which are keen to start operations at India's Surat airport, reports the Times of India. Airport officials are also in communication with other airlines, such as Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, SilkAir, Thai Airways International, and AirAsia. However, any international expansion is still subject to regulatory approvals, and improved facilities for larger aircraft, as well as customs and immigration management.

As previously reported, local carrier Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) planned to launch Surat's international operations with direct flights to Dubai Int'l in May. These have been postponed pending Surat's designation as a customs notified airport by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as well as a runway extension planned for completion by end-2017.

The Chairman of South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry's aviation committee, Rajnikant Marfatia, highlights however that it's important to get local carriers into the international scene before bringing in foreign companies.

"While we are in constant touch with several international airlines which are eager to begin operations from Surat, we are awaiting Union minister of civil aviation Jayant Sinha to keep his word regarding international connectivity with Indian carriers such as Air India Express and SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) since international carriers have exhausted their bilateral seat entitlements," Marfatia said. "The Government of India needs to review potential and increase seats for foreign airlines eager to start flights to Surat."
07/10/17 ch-aviation

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