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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

UAE proposed talks to increase flights from India and cut air fare prices

Governments set to discuss new seat quotas for crucial tourism and business market

Tourism and business travel to the UAE reached new highs with 100 per cent of the 130,000 seats allocated to flights from India being filled.
Tourism and business travel to the UAE reached new highs with 100 per cent of the 130,000 seats allocated to flights from India being filled.

New seat quotas that would allow more flights between the UAE and India - cutting fares in the process - are to be proposed at a summit involving Emirati and Indian officials.

Indian carriers are currently reluctant to increase flights to the UAE to avoid lowering ticket prices, according to a report from the state news agency Wam, even though the routes are operating at 100 per cent capacity.

On Wednesday, the UAE ambassador to India, Dr Ahmed Al Banna, met with India’s minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, to discuss plans to make travel into the UAE from India more affordable and accessible.

The discussion comes as tourism and business travel to the UAE run at full capacity, with 100 per cent of the 130,000 seats allocated to flights from India now filled.

The existing Air Services Agreement between the countries mandates that new quotas should be re-negotiated once capacity reaches 80 per cent.

Airlines in the UAE want to increase capacity to enable more passengers to fly to destinations in the UAE and connect with other airports in the Gulf and beyond at affordable and reasonable prices, reported Wam.

According to a statement from the UAE Embassy in New Delhi, 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 ambassador said the UAE would add more flights and routes to connect regional airports in India to those in the UAE. He said the move would result in more affordable ticket prices as well as an increased potential for enhancing ties between the two countries.