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UAE, India to renegotiate bilateral air service pact

DUBAI, June 15, 2019

The UAE government has called upon Indian civil aviation authorities on the urgent need to start negotiations on revising the existing agreement since full capacity has been reached under the present pact.
 
The UAE government has urged Indian civil aviation authorities to start negotiations on revising the existing agreement since it has reached full capacity under the present pact.
 
The UAE Ambassador to India Dr Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Banna met India’s new Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, in this regard and discussed pressing issues relating to cooperation between the two countries in civil aviation.
 
This was the first face-to-face interaction from the UAE side with a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers since India’s new government was sworn in on May 30, reported state news agency WAM.
 
The UAE’s leaders had congratulated Modi on telephone and through cables following the Prime Minister’s landslide election victory last month.
 
Puri, who was Minister of State with independent charge of the Housing and Urban Affairs portfolio in the previous government, has been given independent charge of civil aviation this time in addition to his previous charge. He is also Minister of State for Commerce in the new government.
 
The Ambassador briefed the Minister on the status of a bilateral air service agreement and reiterated a request by the UAE’s civil aviation authorities on the urgent need to start negotiations on revising the existing agreement since full capacity has been reached under the present pact.
 
Dr Al Banna told WAM that Puri was "very positive" in his response to issues raised by the UAE during today’s discussions. The Minister stressed that the UAE and India shared an important strategic relationship.
 
Talks on renegotiation of the bilateral air service agreement are now expected to begin in two to three months, he stated.
 
Dr Al Banna told Puri that the UAE followed an open skies policy and has never refused requests by Indian carriers to expand their operations in the emirates. He said the current conditions in the civil aviation market called for an increase in per capacity.
 
At present, there are 1,068 flights permitted per week between the UAE and India in both directions. UAE airlines operate just over 400 of these flights and Indian carriers operate over 500 flights. Around 138,000 seats per week are sold by UAE carriers.
 
Dr. Al Banna said UAE carriers are keen to expand their operations to more Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities. There is also scope for more cargo flights between the UAE and India with an increase in demand for such traffic.
 



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