Dubai– The United Arab Emirates has put pressure on the government of India to expand seats between the two nations by another 50,000 per week, a development that can deal a lethal blow to airlines in India.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Director-General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Mohammed A Ahli, in a letter, requested India to let Amritsar, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Kannur, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, and Pune to become additional places of call for Dubai airlines. These would rank among the most profitable routes for UAE carriers if allowed.
It should come as no surprise that Indian airlines are adamantly opposed to adding extra seats for Gulf carriers. Some of the most lucrative routes between India and the UAE are already run by Emirates, the flag carrier of the UAE. Currently, the airline operates out of nine Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Indian government is under increasing pressure from the UAE to permit more flights from India. Tim Clark, president of Emirates, had earlier disregarded Indian airlines’ objections and requested that the Indian government open up more routes.
Furthermore, the Dubai-India air transport sector “continues to be the cornerstone of all such businesses as well as in bringing the people and exchange of ideas between our two nations,” Mohammed Ahli wrote in a letter to Scindia, adding that the governments of India and the UAE have taken a maximum number of steps to promote further trade and commerce as well as cooperation in various areas.
In view of the aforementioned, Ahli continued, it is crucial that “our two States reach an agreement to update the entitlements of the respective authorised airlines.”
“Consider asking for a bilateral meeting of our respective Civil Aviation Authorities to investigate the prospect of boosting capacity and services between Dubai and India further,” the director-general of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority urged Scindia.