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Akasa Air says need to review bilaterals with UAE

There is a need to “review” bilateral rights on flight capacity between India and the UAE, says Akasa Air’s CEO Vinay Dube with the latest domestic airline planning to start international operations by the end of 2023, reports Jagriti Chandra for The Hindu.

“Bilateral capacity should be reviewed, and I think government is reviewing them constantly,” Dube told The Hindu in an interview.

The UAE has requested the Indian government to raise the number of seats Dubai carriers can fly between the city-state and Indian airports by another 50,000 seats, from the current 66,000 seats. While Emirates and FlyDubai have reached the maximum seat limit, Indian airlines are also learnt to have neared the cap, thus requiring a relook at bilateral rights. However, airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet have opposed the move. The agreement confers reciprocal rights on the two sides.

Emirates President Tim Clark during an interaction with the press also warned that restricted bilateral rights would “constrain growth” in India and result in losses of USD 800 to USD 900 million for Indian carriers, and also affect Indian citizens who travel on the route. Mumbai-Dubai and Delhi-Dubai were respectively the 8th and 10th busiest routes in the world in 2022, operating 19.77 lakh and 18.98 lakh seats annually, according to aviation data website OAG. One in three international departures from India is to Dubai, according to the Tourism Ministry’s India Tourism Statistics 2021. (Source: The Hindu)

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