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Mon 2 Jun 2014 01:35 PM

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Emirates to ask new Indian gov't for more landing rights

UAE airlines are fighting for more access to India, which provides about 900,000 workers to the Gulf country

Emirates to ask new Indian gov't for more landing rights
(Getty Images)

Emirates Airline will imminently ask the new Indian government to increase the carrier's seat capacity to the Asian nation, CEO Tim Clark has revealed.

UAE airlines are continuously fighting for more access to India, which provides about 900,000 workers to the Gulf country.

The previous Indian government had long restricted landing rights but it was replaced in May by new right wing Prime Minister Narenda Modi, who has a track record of economic reforms.

Clark told Arabian Business he would move swiftly to "again bang the drum" for Emirates to have greater flying rights.

The airline currently has about 65,000 seats a week. It had been 54,000 for six years.

"We'll move as quickly as we can with the new Indian aviation minister," he said on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Doha.

"There are nearly a million Indians in Dubai, they work in every walk of life.

"The demand out of India is huge and as the government of Dubai goes through it's commercial renaissance ... who's building it? I see Indian workers, I see Indians in every single aspect of the economy in Dubai.

"For me it's a slam dunk (that Emirates could fill more seats to India). There's no city close. Nothing is as potent as Dubai for India today."

Clark said he hoped the new government would further open up the Indian aviation industry, which he said could accommodate 10 times the number of flights today.

"I hope that they return to the wonderful economic liberal days that gets the economy up and running ... and the government recognises how important civil aviation is not just to India but for the rest of the world," Clark said.

"The maths and the figures are pretty daunting when you think of the population of India, it's engagement with the global economy, the number if non-resident Indians there are - I could go on forever.

"So for every seat that's flying in and out of India, today you probably need ten more. That's what I'd like to see."

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Indian National 6 years ago

Why can't Air India and Jet and others not cater for this demand? I hope they up their game and expand. I think both Etihad and Qatar will give Emirates a run for their money on this most important and lucrative market....

Emirates' Indian service isn't particularly good in terms of service or treatment.....

International Indian 6 years ago

Keep dreaming! Air India and Jet will not catch up with Emirates in this century. Both Etihad and Qatar offer service on par with Emirates, but nothing beats being based in Dubai - the commercial capital of the region.

Mohammed MHK 6 years ago

But Emirates Tim will not use those extra seats to carry India workers working in the Emirates. It is a know secret that Emirates will ferry Indians living in the United States and Europe through Dubai. Banging the drum of the Indian workers working in the Emirates is foxy cover up of real facts.

Saneesh Kumar 6 years ago

Ask for more seats yes they will. And then put the old and worn out flights from other destinations in the Indian routes. After all they need to fly these old flights to somewhere in the world. And India is the best place where no one complains about this, I remember being told the same by one of the crews in Emirates flight when asked about the flight conditions.

"These are old flights sir, they fly older flights to India". Emirates flies old flights to most of India except Mumbai and Delhi; South Indians travels on the worst emirates flight by paying more than any other competent airline. I have seen exceptionally well maintained and new flights being operated to the Europe and US and even within the GCC, why this treatment to Indians when they make most of their revenue from India?

Anonymous 6 years ago

What? Your comment makes no sense. Book a seat and you will fly, that is how it works.

Have you been on the Houston and Dallas flights? They are loaded with Indians flying back and forth with their families. Been on the Kuwait flights? Loaded with Indians who flew through Dubai and connect to Kuwait. But I imagine most flights to India are filled with Indians from different economic situations.

turk971 6 years ago

@Saneesh, I have a suggestion "Do not patronize the airline if you believe it is not giving you the best". Business is always driven but the law of demand and supply. If there is no demand for their service despite knowing there is actually a huge market, then they will definitely make a study on why nobody is using their services and then perhaps after the realization of what they are doing wrong, might make the necessary action which will eventually let you get what you want, better service, new planes and better treatment. The secret is stop whining and act to make your requirement and need felt by the supplier of the service.

Saneesh 6 years ago

@turk971,

I don't agree with you at all.

There are not much choices for middle east flights compared to other destinations to/from India. Demand and supply, who wouldn't demand for good services. How to demand? There isn't a way even to complain. They don't have a good complaint management system in place, I remember placing a similar complaint a year back, which was never even responded to.

There are only about 3-4 airlines flying from/to any destination in India and thus not too many options to choose from, so they survive.

I am sure there will be a time when India would open up their skies to many country airlines and then the real competition would begin.

I draw your attention to another comment from @Kunal on Qatar Airways which is similar in nature:

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/qatar-airways-ceo-calls-on-india-rethink-aviation-policies-553587.html?message=3