Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has called for a meeting with airline chiefs on Friday to seek their views on enhancing bilateral air traffic quota to and from Dubai as domestic airlines have been changing stance on the issue, officials said.
Private domestic carriers SpiceJet, IndiGo and Jet Airways had unanimously asked the government not to enhance the bilateral quota between Dubai and India. The airlines had demanded a commitment for getting preferred slots at Dubai’s prime airport before going for a renegotiation of the bilateral quota which had been exhausted by both Indian and Dubai airlines.
However, SpiceJet wrote to the Ministry recently demanding the Union government increase the seat entitlements by 5,000 seats a week, sources said. Soon, its low-cost competitor IndiGo also followed suit with a similar request and full-service carrier Jet Airways asked for 3,000 seats a week.
However, later, the airlines conveyed to the Ministry that they were happy with the present entitlement, sources said. “We are unclear about their stance. They need to discuss within themselves as a contrary view is emerging out of the discussions. We will seek clarity from them and decide upon the future course of action,” a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said.
Last month, after meeting airline officials, the Ministry sought their formal views on whether seat entitlements could be increased by 6,000 seats a week. It also said the government will not guarantee convenient slot for airlines at Dubai’s main airport. It wanted to know if the airlines were ready to use the Dubai World Centre airport, which was 37 kilometres from the main city.