In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, India’s civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that India is not planning to increase air traffic rights for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), despite calls by Gulf carriers.
The UAE has requested that India increase the maximum number of seats between the two countries by 50,000 a week from about 65,000 a week today, but the minister said that India is not considering an increase at this point.
India’s Growing Aviation Market
India has one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, with demand for air travel outstripping supply. However, the majority of India’s international air traffic is now carried by Gulf airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, which are supported by efficient hubs such as Dubai and Doha.
The Indian government wants domestic airlines to offer nonstop long-haul flights to reclaim traffic lost to foreign carriers.
Air India’s Record Order for Jets
Air India recently placed a record order for 470 jets and is making an aggressive push in the international market by offering nonstop flights to long-distance destinations in the United States, particularly for the Indian diaspora.
Air India’s widebody plane order and IndiGo’s plans to fly twin-aisle planes, according to Scindia, are signs that the “transition” has begun.
Expanding India’s Airport Capacity
India is mobilising to meet the transportation needs of its 1.3 billion people by building new airports in the country’s most remote areas and expanding capacity at metro hub airports such as Delhi and Mumbai.
Scindia predicted that India’s air traffic would skyrocket in the coming years, owing to the country’s expanding economy, rapid urbanisation, rising disposable incomes, and rising aspirations.
More Scope for Aerospace Manufacturing in India
The minister also believes that there is more potential for aerospace manufacturing in the country and that companies are eager to produce more locally. With India’s aviation market rapidly expanding, the government’s priority is to meet demand by improving domestic air travel options and expanding airport capacity, rather than increasing air traffic rights for foreign carriers.
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