Emirates says Indian airlines may set-up hubs in Dubai - Tim Clark

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark

Indian airlines are considering establishing hubs at the new Al Maktoum Airport at Dubai World Central, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark has revealed.

Despite protectionist policies in the Asian nation, Indian carriers claimed they were so constrained by regulation and lack of space they were looking for additional cities to operate from, Clark said during a press conference in the US to mark his airline’s launch of flights to Boston.

“Already the Indian carriers in the latest round of talks expressed an interest in setting up hubs in Dubai,” he said.

“We can’t accommodate them in DIA [Dubai International Airport], we said, but you can go to DWC.

“Imagine an Indian carrier like Indigo or Jet or whatever [with] 50 aircraft on the ground. They feel so constrained in their own field of operations that they look at somewhere like Dubai, which is unconstrained. Just don’t break the law and fly safely etcetera, and off you go.

“And that’s on the table for them.”

Tight Indian regulations also have turned Clark off investing in the country’s aviation industry, unlike its rival Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which last year bought a 28 percent stake in Jet Airways.

The deal was the first foreign investment in the Indian aviation industry’s history and involved several layers of regulatory approval amid much opposition.

Clark said Emirates was unlikely to boost seats to India based on the government’s refusal to increase landing rights.

“The Indian government calls the shots on that,” he said.

“They have given us 11,000 seats for Dubai that has to be shared between flydubai and Emirates. We had asked for 30,000 seats for starters and multiple points in India, in addition to what we have at the moment.

“We didn’t get any of those. There have been no [new] seats since May 2008.

“We are running at 90 percent capacity right now. It is such a pity.”

DWC, which will be the largest airport in the world when it is completed, started commercial flights in October last year and has only a handful of low-cost airlines based there, while some GCC carriers are now operating flights to both DWC and DIA.

If any Indian carrier established a hub there it would be the first of any airline. Emirates is not expected to move to the new airport until well into the next decade, when capacity is nearer the expected 160m passengers a year.



Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Naidu

While EK operates 3 daily direct flights to Bangalore, no indian carrier is operating a direct flight... isn't strange...

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

Changing course: Flynas CEO Paul Byrne

For nearly a decade, Saudi Arabia’s second airline struggled...

New era for Saudi Arabia's aviation sector

New era for Saudi Arabia's aviation sector

Saudi Arabia’s aviation market has been one of the most highly...

Emirates Engineering: maintaining the airline's growing fleet

Emirates Engineering: maintaining the airline's growing fleet

The backroom mechanics of any airline can be fascinating, not...

Most Popular
Most Discussed