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Thursday, 31 January, 2019, 12 : 15 PM [IST]

UAE keen on reviewing air services agreement with India: Envoy


As per the report of Hindustan Times (HT), United Arab Emirates is keen on reviewing its air services agreement with India as occupancy on carriers of both sides has exceeded the figure stipulated in the pact, Ahmed Al Banna UAE envoy said.

The ambassador also outlined the role being played by his country in facilitating contacts between the US and the Afghan Taliban. He made it clear the UAE’s decision to provide USD 3 billion to Pakistan would not affect the country’s relations with India.

The India-UAE air routes are among the worlds most lucrative, but moves to increase capacity have been the subject of heated debates as Indian carriers believe the current deal offers greater benefits to airlines from the Gulf.

“The agreement stipulates that if occupancy has reached 85% and above, then it is time to review the agreement. The UAE carriers have reached 100% occupancy, while Indian carriers have reached over 90% occupancy,” Al Banna said, referring to the air services agreement and four separate MoUs covering the airports at Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

The UAE has taken up the issue with Suresh Prabhu, Union Civil Aviation Minister, Government of India, India’s external affairs and other civil aviation ministries he said. He added there was an understanding when Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India visited the UAE in December on a new round of negotiations and “that will happen very soon”.

Al Banna noted 55% of Indians going out of the country travel via the airports of the UAE, mainly Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Though there are more than 1,068 flights a week with over 168,000 seats between Indian and the UAE, the number of Indians travelling to the UAE is “increasing incredibly”, he said.


(Source: HT)

 
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