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Emirates is planning to increase the number of seats per week to India by 52 per cent taking it to 80,000 from 54, 200 at present, as per an Economic Times report.
While the UAE is keen for talks with the Indian government to revise the bilateral flying rights between the two countries, the National Council of Applied Economic Research has endorsed the expansion plans of the airline into India, estimating that if the carrier is given 80,000 seats per week into India, the Indian economy will benefit by USD 790 million. The study also hints at Emirates wanting four additional ports of call – with flights to Amritsar, Mangalore, Pune and Trichy.
“We would definitely like to fly to more flights to India airports and get more capacity into India. The proposal to fly an A-380 into India is an ongoing request with the government,” said Will Lofberg, Senior Manager (Public Environment Affairs), Emirates.
Meanwhile, Planning Commission member Pronab Sen also defended Emirates expansion into India saying, “Their capacity utilisation at 84% from India shows that Emirates’ operations give the Indian passenger more connectivity.”
But the ministry believes that if Emirates is given more seats, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman would also ask for more, given that the Gulf route is one of the most profitable for airlines.