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Thu 24 Nov 2016 01:51 PM

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Dubai seeks to cool airport slots dispute with Indian carriers

Dubai Airports chief denies media reports that India's request for commitment on more DXB slots has been declined

Dubai seeks to cool airport slots dispute with Indian carriers

The operator of airports in Dubai has denied reports that it has declined India's request for a commitment on providing desired slots to Indian carriers at their aviation hubs.

In a statement issued on Thursday related to slot allocation for Indian carriers at the world’s busiest international airport, Dubai International, Dubai Airports said it welcomed the expansion of the flying rights between India and Dubai.

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said: "Despite the competitive slot situation, Indian carriers continue to grow services, operating more frequencies than Dubai-based airlines between Dubai and India.

"There is clearly demand for more seats and we are confident that the airlines operating on these routes will take up more seat capacity, if agreed by Dubai and India, and reap the benefits of that growth.”

His comments follow media reports in India that suggested a dispute over air traffic rights for Indian airlines at Dubai International.

But Griffiths said: “It’s important to understand that the assignment of traffic rights via bilateral agreements and slot allocation are two discrete processes.

“Traffic rights are negotiated between governments. Slot allocation is managed separately by an independent organisation at arm’s length and in accordance with international guidelines established by the International Air Transport Association.

"Specifically, Dubai International’s slots are allocated by an independent slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), in accordance with IATA guidelines. ACL conducts slot allocation activities at other major international airports around the world as well.”

He added: “Dubai International is the busiest airport for international passenger traffic in the world, with 90 carriers connecting the airport to more than 240 global destinations with high demand for a limited supply of slots."

Indian media reported earlier this month that the country will soon start talks with the UAE to increase flying rights or bilaterals and has decided to seek an assurance from Dubai that Indian carriers will get best slots there.

In February, aviation minister AG Raju wrote to Dubai saying Indian carriers were not able to fully utilise their flying rights to Dubai due to "non-availability of commercially and operationally feasible slots" at Dubai International.

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