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Fly Dubai makes fresh bid to start flight from Chandigarh

UAE’s national carrier writes to Indian ministry, eager to start daily flight on Chandigarh-Dubai route

punjab Updated: Jul 26, 2017 11:21 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Fly Dubai,Chandigarh airport,Flights from Chandigarh
Fly Dubai currently operates from Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai and Trivandrum.

Fly Dubai, one of the government-owned carriers of the UAE, has made a fresh bid to start operations on the Chandigarh-Dubai route.

Highly placed sources told HT that the Dubai’s aviation department that owns the airline wrote to the Indian ministry of civil aviation last month to seek permission to operate from Chandigarh.

The airline is long interested to fly from here but could not do so because it exhausted its existing quota granted to operate within the country under the present bilateral treaty between India and the UAE.

A senior official of Fly Dubai posted in India informed HT that the airline, through the Dubai aviation department, has requested the ministry to shift its sister concern Emirates airline’s capacity line at the Calicut airport in Kerala to the Chandigarh-Dubai route, since the latter is not operating currentlydue to a runway issue.

“The final decision is still awaited,” he said.

The official said, if allowed, the airline is eager to start at least one daily flight from Chandigarh on its 174-seater Boeing 737-800.

Operating from 8 cities in India

Bilateral aviation agreements between two countries determine the number of passengers (in terms of seats) the airlines of each side can fly to the other country and also the number of cities they will be allowed to fly to.

At present, both of the UAE’s designated carriers — Emirates and Fly Dubai — can’t operate more than 65,200 seats per week in India. Of these, 5,200 seats per week are being operated by Fly Dubai in eight Indian cities and rest by Emirates.

The airline currently operates from Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai and Trivandrum.

However, on Tuesday, Sudhir Sreedharan, senior vice-president, commercial (GCC, Africa subcontinent) at Fly Dubai, said the airline currently operated to eight points in India and there were “no plans to change the current schedule”.

To connect local flyers to US, Europe

A company official said that their mandate will be not only to take local flyers to Dubai but also to connect them further to Europe and the US.

As reported by HT earlier, such connectivity is missing in the current flight operating on the Chandigarh-Dubai route, since the Indian airline operating it does not have a code-share agreement with other airlines.

This hinders extended connectivity from Dubai, even as it is the main halt between Asia and the West.

The Fly Dubai official said the carrier, which is headquartered in Dubai, operates across 94 destinations in the world.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 11:05 IST