Tuesday, June 06, 2017

India’s airlines studying the Gulf fallout

Air India Express (AIE) is compiling a list of the weekly flights it operates to Doha to be sent to UAE (United Arab Emirates) authorities so that there is no disruption to the service.

This follows the decision of the UAE asking airlines not registered in the region but intending to use it airspace while flying to or from Qatar to get “prior approval” from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAAA). The UAE has banned airlines registered in Qatar from overflying its territory. A senior AIE official said that a clearer picture on whether flights to Doha will have to be diverted will emerge in the next day or two.

The airline operates a daily flight from Kozhikode to Doha apart from a four-times-a-week connection from Mumbai. It also connects Mangaluru with Doha thrice a week. The UAE shutting its airspace could also affect flights operated by Jet Airways and IndiGo. A question mark now hangs over the daily flights from Kozhikode and Chennai that IndiGo plans to launch to Doha from July 20.

There is fear among some operators that while flights out of Doha could enjoy heavy passenger load factors, those going to Doha would not have many takers.

A Jet Airways spokesperson told BusinessLine that as of now “there were no changes to its schedule.” Similarly, IndiGo tweeted that its flights to Doha were operating as per schedule. “Passengers will be informed of changes if any. We are closely monitoring the situation,” the tweet said.
05/06/17 Business Line