New Delhi: The UAE is aiming to make travel from India to airports in the Emirates affordable and accessible with new seat quotas — which could potentially cut air fares between the two countries, a senior diplomat has said on Wednesday.
Dr Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India, has held extensive discussions with India’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, on augmenting air transport facilities and services between the two countries.
In a statement, the UAE's top diplomat to India has said that a meeting will be set in October between the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE and the Civil Aviation Authority of India “to propose a new agreement and policy for the bilateral air services agreement."
"The UAE is willing to add few more flights and routes to connect regional airports in India to those in the UAE that will lead to affordable prices with the required capacity and also needs to focus on an open sky policy that raises the potential for enhancing UAE-India ties,” the envoy said.
“Both parties agreed to set up a meeting between the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE and the Civil Aviation Authority of India to propose a new agreement and policy for the bilateral air services agreement,” according to a statement from the UAE Embassy in New Delhi after Al Banna’s meeting with Sinha.
Air Services Agreement
A clause in the existing Air Services Agreement mandates that when capacity on routes between UAE and India reaches 80 per cent, new quotas to be shared between air carriers in both countries should be re-negotiated.
Because of an increase in travel between India and the UAE, capacity is now running at 100 per cent of the approximately 130,000 seats per week allowed under an existing agreement.
Indian carriers are reluctant to negotiate new quotas because they can hike up ticket prices if demand outstrips supply and no new agreement is in place.