Kuwait’s decision to block flights unfair: India


New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram : Kuwait's unilateral decision to ban all flights from India from July 1 is "unfair and uncalled for" and all issues must be mutually resolved, a spokesperson for the Indian civil aviation ministry said Monday.

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"We have a bilateral civil aviation agreement with Kuwait and further talks are on. So the matter should be resolved by mutual consultations. Such unilateral action, we feel, is unfair and uncalled for," the spokesperson told IANS.

"This action is harmful to the interests of the travellers of both countries," the spokesperson added, even as the travel trade industry in Kerala said that pressuring tactics of Kuwait government would not yield any result.

Kuwait had said two weeks ago that it would stop all flights to India with effect from July 1 since it says New Delhi was not honouring its commitment to allow more landing rights for its carriers.

Three flag carriers, the state-run Air India, its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and Indian Airlines, have been designated to fly to Kuwait, while the Gulf country has Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airlines as its carriers for India.

The two countries had concluded their bilateral agreement in March last year as per which they allowed 5,200 seats per week for the carriers of either side. The Kuwaiti side requested the limits be raised to 6,800 flights per week.

The Kerala Association of Travel Agents (KATA), meanwhile, maintained that if the Kuwaiti government goes ahead with its decision, the real losers will be its own carriers, Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airlines.

"They will have to pay huge amount of fines to those passengers who have booked in advance," K.V. Muraleedharan, the president of the association, told IANS in Thiruvananthapuram.

"Since Air India and Indian operates to other airports in the Middle East they can make alternate arrangements for those passengers who are booked to travel to Kuwait. So they would not have any problem," said Muraleedharan.