The governments of the UAE and India have agreed to increase the number of seats available on weekly flights between the countries nearly fourfold, it was reported on Thursday.
Nearly 50,000 seats will be made available compared to the existing entitlement of 13,330 seats, with 11 points of call in India available to UAE carriers under a new agreement.
A memorandum on air services was signed on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi after two days of bilateral negotiations, LiveMint reported.
Both sides agreed to allocate an additional entitlement of 36,670 seats per week spread over a period of three years — 11,000 seats per week in 2013, 12,800 seats per week up to the winter schedule of 2014, and 12,870 seats per week up to the winter schedule 2015, it reported.
“India was looking at the negotiations in the overall economic interest of India and the government’s policy of liberalization for attracting foreign investment in India, including the civil aviation sector,” the aviation ministry said in a statement carried by the website.
The agreement was likely a quid pro quo for the deal under which Jet Airways sold a 24 percent stake in itself to Etihad for $379m, it added.
Both sides have agreed to extend third country and domestic code share facilities, but India declined the UAE’s request for additional points of call and removal of cap on seats and frequency from each point of call, the report said.