Mumbai: India and the UAE Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding on air services, enhancing the weekly seat capacity to 50,000 on the sector.
The agreement was reached following the two-day bilateral negotiations between the two countries in Abu Dhabi, a Civil Aviation ministry press release said Wednesday night.
Currently, all domestic carriers taken together are allowed to operate 13,300 seats per week on India-Abu Dhabi route besides a two percent operational flexibility.
With the new agreement, the additional weekly seat capacity on the sector will stand at 36,670 seats spread over a period of three years, it said.
For the current year, the weekly seat capacity will be 11,000. For the next year, the capacity will be 12,800 seats up to the winter schedule.
The weekly seat capacity will be 12,870 seats up to the winter schedule of 2015, the ministry said.
According to the government, the enhancement in the present capacity spread over three years would allow the carriers of both the countries to plan their future operations.
This will help enhance international connectivity for Indian passengers and also facilitate local and international route networking, it said.
Besides, both sides have also agreed to extend 3rd country code share and domestic code share of designated airlines of either side, the release said.
The UAE had also urged India to grant Goa, Pune, Amritsar and Lucknow as additional points of calls, the release said adding "India was looking at the negotiations in overall economic interest of India and government's policy of liberalisation for attracting foreign investment in India, including civil aviation sector."
India had requested the UAE to grant change of gauge facility at Abu Dhabi for domestic carriers in addition to ensuring full 5th freedom rights from the UAE, it said.
"The change of gauge facility will provide operational/commercial flexibility to Indian carriers to enable deploy equipment corresponding to market demand," it said.
First Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 23:55