India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an MoU on Air Services, following the two-day bilateral negotiation at Abu Dhabi today. The UAE had urged India to allocate additional 40,000 seats per week, grant Goa, Pune, Amritsar and Lucknow as additional points of calls, remove the maximum cap prescribed from each point of call in-term of seats/ frequency per week and allow 3rd country /domestic code share facility. India was looking at the negotiations in overall economic interest of India and Government™s policy of liberalization for attracting foreign investment in India, including civil aviation sector. The Indian side had requested the UAE side to grant change of gauge facility at Abu Dhabi to Indian carriers in addition to ensuring full 5th freedom rights from UAE.
As per the present Air Service Agreement, the designated carriers of both sides have existing entitlement of 13,330 + 2% flexibility (total 13,600) Seats per week with eleven points of call available to UAE . After present negotiations both sides have agreed to allocate an additional entitlement of 36,670 seats per week spread over a period of 3yrs; 11,000 seats per week in year 2013, 12,800 seats per week up to winter schedule 2014 and 12,870 seats per week up to winter schedule 2015. Both sides have also agreed to extend 3rd country and domestic code share facility. However Indian side has not agreed to the request of UAE for any additional point of call and removal of cap in terms seats/frequency from each point of call. The additional 2% flexibility on total entitlement has been done away with. Both sides have agreed to extend 3rd country code share and domestic code share of designated airlines of either side. The UAE have agreed to Indian request of change of gauge facility and both sides have agreed to allow designated airlines of each side to have the option to change the aircraft in the territory of the other party.
The enhancement in the present capacity spread over 3yrs would allow the carriers of both the countries to plan their future operations. The change of gauge facility will provide operational/commercial flexibility to Indian carriers to enable deploy equipment corresponding to market demand. This will help in enhancing international connectivity for Indian passengers and also facilitate local and international route networking.