UAE, India to make flights more affordable, says ambassador

Dr. Ahmed Al Banna said that the weekly capacity of 168,000 seats between the two countries does not meet demand
UAE, India to make flights more affordable, says ambassador
The 1,068 flights between the UAE and India each week – with a total capacity of 168,000 seats – do not meet the demand.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 20 Mar 2019 10:10 AM

The UAE is working with Indian authorities to make air travel to the UAE more affordable for Indian tourists and visitors, according to ambassador Dr. Ahmed Al Banna.

Speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology, Dr Al Banna said that there is currently a “discrepancy” between supply and demand on flights from India.

He added that the 1,068 flights between the two countries each week – with a total capacity of 168,000 seats – do not meet the demand.

In the past, he said, a business class seat between Delhi and Dubai costs approximately $1,000. The same seat now costs $2,000, he said, because of increasing demand and low availability.

Negotiations to improve the conditions through a bilateral air service agreement are expected to take place soon.

Indian regulations state that the ‘Open Skies’ policy only applies to flights further than a 5,000 km radius.

Dr Al Banna said that since the flight between India and the UAE is shorter than that, European and American carriers fly beyond the 5,000 km radius, putting UAE carriers at a disadvantage.

"Our airlines also need open skies," Dr Al Banna said.

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