By Staff writer
Civil aviation authorities to hold talks on increasing bilateral seat entitlements
Talks are expected to be held between the Indian and Dubai civil aviation authorities to increase flights between the two countries.
The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has received a new request from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) to increase bilateral seat entitlements to meet rising demand, according to reports from India.
Airlines of both countries have maxed out current flying capacity, reported The Hindu – they are entitled to fly 65,200 seats under current agreements.
The bilateral agreement had given further flexibility to the airlines to fly two percent additional seats to match their seat configurations, following a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2014. This took the total entitlement to 66,504 seats.
As of July this year, the newspaper said, airlines from Dubai – Emirates, flydubai and Dubai Aviation Corporation– offered 66,504 seats, while Indian carriers – IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India – flew 65,272 seats.
But Emirates was reported in March to be seeking an increase of 50,000 additional seats entitlement between India and Dubai.
Ahmed Khoory, senior vice-president, commercial operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean, at Emirates was quoted as telling Indian media: “We have ten points (cities) in India. We are trying to expand as much as we can. With the limited seat capacity we are very much restricted today to these ten points.
"If the bilateral agreement goes through, we can gain seats and can cover most of the points in India. Our objective is to cover as much as we can.”
Dubai accounts for a significant proportion of international passengers that fly in and out of India, with 2.75 million passengers flying between India and Dubai in January-March this year, according to figures from DCAA.