Responding to National Interest? | India Rejects Additional Flying Rights to Dubai Airlines

DUBAI: Dubai-based airlines will not be granted additional rights to fly directly into more airports in India, after the Indian government reportedly rejected a request to allow airlines based in the emirate to fly to more airports.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) had reportedly been in talks to increase flying rights directly into India, especially into the country’s northeastern airports.

A senior aviation ministry official, who did not want to be named, was quoted by India’s Economic Times newspaper as saying the Indian government has “decided against allowing any such access to Dubai. The request has been rejected.”

GCAA said that it was not part of the discussions, and thus, could not comment on the issue.

Airlines in the UAE have long described India as a lucrative market, considering the strong passenger traffic between both countries, even as India’s aviation market remains highly protected.

Spokespeople from Emirates and flydubai said they were not part of those discussions to increase access as they happen at a government level rather than at an airline level.

“India is a very important market for flydubai. We continuously look at opportunities to expand our operations in the market and better serve passengers between the two countries. Any discussions regarding bilateral agreements are done at a government level,” said Sudhir Sreedharan, Vice President of commercial operations at flydubai.

Similarly, a spokesperson from Emirates said the carrier was “not aware” of the reported government talks. “Emirates serves India under the currently permitted rights without any issues,” the spokesperson said.

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