Commerce Min Pushes for Considering Dubai’s Request for More Flying Rights
Asks aviation min to discuss issue before Oct 15, when a task force on investments meets in Mumbai
New Delhi: The commerce ministry has asked the aviation ministry to consider Dubai’s request for an increase in flying rights between India and the UAE, at a time when New Delhi is expecting higher investments from West Asia. The commerce ministry, in a letter, asked the aviation ministry to discuss the issue of flying rights between the two co- untries before October 15, when a high-level task force on investments in India meets in Mumbai under the chairmanship of Suresh Prabhu, who is the minister for both commerce and aviation. “The commerce ministry has told us that increasing bilateral rights has become one of the key conditions for investments in India by Dubai and we should meet them to discuss the possibility of an increase (in rights),” said a senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be named. The ministry has asked Indian carriers to share their requirement on the India-Dubai route, the official said.
“A bilateral negotiation can happen once our carriers make a request for an increase on the India-Dubai sector.”
The ministry, however, does not expect any demand from Indian carriers, as yields on the India-
asked Indian carriers to share their requirement on India-Dubai route.
Dubai route have fallen from earlier levels, thus, impacting the profitability of the route.
Currently, India and Dubai allow airlines from each side to operate a little over 65,000 seats per week, a quota that has been exhausted by carriers from both sides. Dubai has been seeking an increase of 50,000 seats per week, but Indian authorities have not agreed to it yet and instead sought preferential treatment in slot allocation for Indian carriers at Dubai’s airport.
While Dubai authorities did not accept India’s request, they offered Indian carriers slots even though there were no flying rights to launch flights.
Allowing flying rights to Dubai had led to divergent views between former civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and minister of state Jayant Sinha. While Raju was for a nominal increase in flying rights, Sinha was against it on the grounds that aviation hubs have moved to West Asian destinations like Dubai on the back of Indian passengers and at the cost of Indian airports.