India is understood to have invited UAE civil aviation authorities for discussions on bilateral air traffic rights. This followed request by UAE authorities on expanding bilateral air seat capacities between the two countries.
The meeting, which is also expected to discuss the issue of re-designation of flights, is scheduled for today (Wednesday), according to a report in New Indian Express.
Civil Aviation ministry spokesperson did not immediately respond to Arabian Business’ query on this.
Under the existing bilateral rights, carriers from India and the UAE can fly a total of 134,441 aircraft seats a week, each way.
UAE and some other Middle East countries have been requesting New Delhi for review of their respective bilateral air service agreements, under which weekly air seat capacities as also designated airports are decided between the two countries.
So far, India has been reluctant to expand bilateral flying rights with UAE.
Indian carriers are also said to be not in favour of expanding air capacities between the two countries, mainly on apprehension that UAE-based carriers could gain most from this as they could manage to get prime slots for landing and take off in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other airports in their country.
Indian airlines which operate in the Middle East sector also got a windfall recently when they were allocated additional flying rights and seat capacities in this sector from the quota of the grounded Jet Airways.
This has led to a flurry of new and additional flight launches by Air India and private carriers such as Indigo and SpiceJet to Dubai, Abdu Dhabi and several other destinations in the Gulf from multiple locations in India.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two major transit points for millions of Indian international travellers for their onward journey to destinations in Europe and US.
India-Dubai is among the most busiest and profitable routes for airlines from both India and the UAE.
India’s air service agreement with the UAE is learnt to be different from the standard process of bilateral flying agreements signed between two countries. While India has single air service agreement with the UAE, New Delhi has given separate traffic rights to four Emirates of the UAE.
This was apparently done due to reluctance by each Emirate to share its entitlement with each other.