Indian budget carrier IndiGo is currently awaiting regulatory approvals for commencing new flight services to Riyadh and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, according to sources in the airline.
IndiGo, which has launched its first service to the kingdom with a Mumbai-Jeddah direct flight last month, is the second Indian budget carrier to launch direct flight services to the country from India.
SpiceJet was the first Indian budget carrier to launch services to Saudi Arabia from multiple locations in India.
“We are still awaiting necessary regulatory approvals for these flights and hence will not be able to share the details of the new flights,” an IndiGo executive told Arabian Business.
Sources said IndiGo had set a launch date for its Dammam flight, but had to defer the launch plan as it failed to get the regulatory approvals on time.
Indian airlines are currently in expansion mode in their operations to the Middle East sector to fill the supply-demand gap caused after the grounding of Jet Airways.
Air India is set to commence two new direct flights to Dubai from mid this month – one from Kolkota and the other from Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The state-owned carrier had launched two daily flights each from Delhi and Mumbai to Dubai last month.
SpiceJet is also set to commence two daily flights to Saudi soon - Mumbai-Riyadh and Delhi-Jeddah. The flights to Jeddah will be effective from the last week of July, while the flight to Riyadh is to commence on August 15.
The sudden shrinkage in airline seat capacities in the India-Dubai and other sectors in UAE have led to a flare up in airfare, forcing India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to urgently step.
DGCA last month allotted flying rights on the Middle East and other international sectors from the quota of Jet Airways to Air India and other Indian carriers on a proportionate basis for a three-month period.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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