More seats between India and Dubai to create cheaper travel options

New Delhi : Increase in number of seats in flights between India and Dubai will allow for multiple choice of travel and cheap connections for Indian passengers, sectoral experts said Thursday.

“Enhancement of seat quotas with Dubai is a good thing for both countries. It will help enhance supply of seats, increase competition and help bring down fares,” said Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defense at global consultancy KPMG.

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“The winter of 2014 may see the arrival of Emirates’ A380s which will further reduce the airfares to India.”

Other sectoral experts said that the latest enhancement done in a phased manner is positive for the industry.

“Allowing for more seats between India and Dubai is a positive move which is being implemented in a phased manner,” Rajiv Chib, associate director, aerospace and defence at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told IANS.

On Wednesday, India and Dubai agreed to enhance their bilateral seat entitlements by another 11,000 seats per week which would be done in three phases.

Currently, the bilateral seat entitlements between India and Dubai are at 54,200 seats per week.

The enhanced bilateral air services agreement (BASA) will also allow Indian passenger carrier to use Dubai as a hub for for connecting flights, as a change of gauge facility at the Dubai Airport has been allowed.

Earlier, Dubai had asked for an increase of 20,000 seats per week, however, at that time Indian carriers were yet to fully utilise their entitlements.

Last year, India agreed to a increase 36,670 seats in a phased manner spread over a three-year period with Abu Dhabi.