India cabinet OKs raising airline seats to UAE

Under bilateral agreement, designated carriers of both countries allowed to add 36,670 seats per week
By Reuters
Wed 04 Sep 2013 09:57 AM

India's federal cabinet approved an accord with the United Arab Emirates to nearly quadruple airline seats between the two countries over three years, a government minister said on Tuesday.

Under the bilateral agreement, designated carriers of both countries will be allowed to add 36,670 seats per week over three years to 2015, to the current entitlement of 13,600.

The accord had been criticised by opposition politicians who said it favoured Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, which in April agreed to take a 24 percent stake in India's Jet Airways by paying nearly a third higher than Jet's stock price.

Etihad and Jet are yet to close the deal, pending final approvals. Etihad said this week it expected the deal to be cleared by Indian authorities "imminently".

India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which cleared the deal in July, has recommended it to a cabinet panel, it said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

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