Emirates CEO Tim Clark told he hopes for the recently signed free trade deal between India and UAE to make room for more cargo as well as passenger transport between the two countries, but added the government’s imposed constraints on foreign airline operations are “vexing”.
The free trade deal, which came into effect in May, allows duty-free exports of textiles, agriculture, dry fruits, gems, and jewelry to the UAE market.
International Air Transport Association
“I noticed embracement of the 2 countries for the FTA but it has not manifested itself in more flights to India. I am expecting that will arrive,” told Clark on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Doha.
“All I can tell is that it is in the hands of the Indian government. Since 2015, we have been requesting more points, more frequencies, and more seats,” he toldIATA
“I do not think anyone could be more persuasive than we have been in the value of doing that,” he said.
India has, for the last few years, been trying to rework its bilateral air services deals with the UAE, unifying all the rights under one umbrella. That would curtail the number of flights permitted to each airline. The middle eastern carriers have been up in arms against it. There has been no final decision on it yet.
“We know the story of India. And yet, they have this constraining approach to aviation, which has not helped the economy,” he told.“But these things have always been, dare I say, vexing for the Indian government,” he said.
When asked if he has seen any change in the Indian government’s attitude of late, on this issue, he replied, “Not really.”Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told the need for international travel has bounced back in India and so “traffic rights and operational resources have to be provided,”
Lufthansa currently operates 42 weekly flights to India and Spohr told he wants to get back to the airline’s pre-Covid19 weekly capacity of 56 flights a week
The Asia Pacific at International Air Transport Association
On Sunday, Philip Goh, regional vice president for the Asia Pacific at IATA, said that India’s high taxation structure on aviation fuel and continued imposition of price bands on airfares are “bad ideas” that “retard” the recovery and development of the aviation industry.“Taxes are always an issue for the airlines whether it is in fuel or in any other possible way,”
“These are all bad ideas that retard the recovery of aviation and tourism,” he told at the industry association’s annual general meeting in Doha while providing the example of Thailand, which wants to levy a tourism tax to boost its revenue, as well. “Any measures that increase costs and depress airlines’ ability to increase revenue are bad for the economics of aviation.”
Aviation fuel in India attracts the highest level of taxes in the world. Airlines have been requesting the government to bring the fuel under goods and services tax (GST). The government hasn’t done that yet.
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