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Aviation mkt growth needs to be matched with capacity

Increased competition will provide more choices for consumers, says Adnan Kazim, CEO, Emirates Airline

Aviation mkt growth needs to be matched with capacity

Dubai: Indian aviation market's pace of growth needs to be matched with capacity, and increased competition will provide more choices for consumers, Emirates Airline Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim has said, as he pitched for increased bilateral flying rights between Dubai and India. On whether Emirates is looking for partners in India, Kazim said it is open to any such future engagements if there is an appetite in an Indian airline for that sort of dialogue and engagement. For the full-service carrier, he said India is a top-tier market, and the demand today is exceeding the current capacity offered in the country.

Currently, the airline operates direct flights to nine Indian cities from Dubai. Over the years, the airline has been pitching for enhanced bilateral rights between the two countries, which is currently at 65,000 seats per week, to operate at a higher capacity to meet the rising travel demand. "India has always remained an important market for Emirates.

It has a high demand with 171 weekly frequencies that we operate between India and Dubai, connecting nine points. Demand is standing very strong, and as a market (India), it (demand) is not linked to seasons or holidays...," Kazim, who is the Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), said. In an interview in Dubai this week, he said more airlines opening up and ordering wide-body planes for long-haul operations in India are good aspects that will create more options and choices for consumers.

He emphasised that India, with a population of close to 1.5 billion, is seeing a growing international travel demand, and that needs to be coped with more capacity. "We need to be mindful of the speed of the growth the Indian aviation is going through and the capacity growth that is something that needs to be matched," he said. Currently, the bilateral flying rights allow Dubai carriers -- Emirates and Flydubai -- to operate 65,000 seats weekly to India. Similarly, Indian airlines can operate 65,000 seats to Dubai every week. The flying rights on both sides are fully utilised and the last upward revision in the number of seats happened in 2015. Emirates flies to Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad. Indian carriers -- Air India, Air India Express, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara -- operate flights to Dubai. Talking on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting here this week, Kazim also said that a decision on bilateral flying rights is between the governments of India and the UAE.

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