Dubai-based airlines will not be allowed to increase flights to Indian cities until and unless the United Arab Emirates government allocates commercially and operationally feasible slots to Indian carriers at the Dubai International Airport. These terms and conditions are part of a bilateral seat entitlement agreement, which the two countries will sign soon.
A senior Union Civil Aviation Ministry official told Press Trust of India that the Narendra Modi government has the authority to enforce the clause. Emirates and flydubai are two Dubai-based carriers which will be unable to increase their flights to India until and unless they reciprocate in a similar way.
“We will agree on increasing seat entitlements between the two countries as carriers from both sides have exhausted their quota. But, any increase in flights and new slots at Indian airports for them will depend on Dubai authorities providing the same to our carriers,” the official was quoted as saying.
The Modi government took the decision after India’s request to give commitment on slots for Indian domestic carriers was turned down by the UAE government. The UAE-India routes are considered one of the busiest routes as each side operates about 65,200 seats a week, PTI added.
Indian and Gulf carriers have been demanding increasing the seat capacity. On its part, the Modi government had written to authorities in Dubai stating that domestic carriers had complained about not getting desirable slots. However, the request was turned down by the UAE government.