Government's protective stance splits aviation sector
AVIATION & AIRPORTS

Government's protective stance splits aviation sector

The aviation industry in India finds itself at odds over the country's decision to suspend flying rights to Middle Eastern nations. Air India's CEO, Campbell Wilson, has advocated for restricting market access for foreign carriers, expressing concerns about protecting investments in the airline. He mentioned that Air India has made significant investments in ordering aircraft, totalling over $100 billion, and any opening of the Indian market to foreign airlines could jeopardise these investments.

Wilson's stance, however, has not garnered support from other Indian carriers like IndiGo and the new players, Akasa, who are eager to expand their operations to the Middle East. Experts predict that the liberalisation of bilateral rights will become a contentious issue in the Indian civil aviation industry under the new government.

Wilson's statements came shortly after Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, criticised the Indian government's move, arguing that it would limit choices for Indian air passengers and have negative implications for India's economy in the long term.

Meanwhile, the UAE has requested an increase of 50,000 seats per week to India, citing the significant growth in traffic between the two countries. However, the current quota for flights to Dubai has been exhausted since the last increase in flying rights in 2014, despite the exponential rise in traffic on routes between India and Dubai, notably the Delhi-Dubai route, which is one of the busiest in the world according to travel data analytics firm OAG.

The aviation industry in India finds itself at odds over the country's decision to suspend flying rights to Middle Eastern nations. Air India's CEO, Campbell Wilson, has advocated for restricting market access for foreign carriers, expressing concerns about protecting investments in the airline. He mentioned that Air India has made significant investments in ordering aircraft, totalling over $100 billion, and any opening of the Indian market to foreign airlines could jeopardise these investments. Wilson's stance, however, has not garnered support from other Indian carriers like IndiGo and the new players, Akasa, who are eager to expand their operations to the Middle East. Experts predict that the liberalisation of bilateral rights will become a contentious issue in the Indian civil aviation industry under the new government. Wilson's statements came shortly after Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, criticised the Indian government's move, arguing that it would limit choices for Indian air passengers and have negative implications for India's economy in the long term. Meanwhile, the UAE has requested an increase of 50,000 seats per week to India, citing the significant growth in traffic between the two countries. However, the current quota for flights to Dubai has been exhausted since the last increase in flying rights in 2014, despite the exponential rise in traffic on routes between India and Dubai, notably the Delhi-Dubai route, which is one of the busiest in the world according to travel data analytics firm OAG.

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