The UAE and India have explored ways to take bilateral relations to a higher level with special emphasis on the aviation sector.
This came in a meeting UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Allbanna, had with Shri. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Hon’ble, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, on Wednesday, 12th July 2017, where the two sides discussed the possibility of signing a new agreement to utilise the high potential for travel growth between the two countries.
Dr. Ahmed Albanna said that the UAE-India air routes are considered among the most lucrative in the world. "Currently, the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have one air service agreement and four MoUs with India," he said, explaining that carriers from India and the UAE can now fly a total of 131,741 aircraft seats a week, each way. These are divided between Dubai (62,500), Abu Dhabi (50,000), Sharjah (17,841) and Ras Al-Khaimah (1,400). In the existing MoUs, Dubai sector has exhausted their bilateral seat capacities and Sharjah has already surpassed the 80% load required to restart the negotiations, noted the ambassador.
Both parties agreed to hold a meeting in the near future between the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation of India to review the joint Air Service Agreement: If the proposal goes through, the new agreement will be a steppingstone for more flights and operational flexibility and trigger a fresh round of negotiations for enhancement of bilateral ties.
Dr. Albanna was accompanied during the meeting by Ahmad Alfalahi, Commercial Attach of UAE to India.