Denting Air India’s clout a bit, the civil aviation ministry is going to do away with the national carrier’s first refusal on overseas flights thus aloowing private sector carrier to increase flights to the Gulf and South east Asia. The ministry’s move seeks to reduce the country’s dependence on both Air India and Gulf carriers for connectivity to the Middle East.
According to the civil aviation ministry, IndiGo has received approval for 63 new international flights every week, of which 28 are to Dubai and seven to Jeddah, while Spice Jet can now operate 49 new overseas flights, including seven each to Dubai and Riyadh. Similarly, market leader Jet Airways has been given the nod for 56 new flights every week, including 14 to Kuwait. Private carriers must make these routes operational by October.
While IndiGo plans to add 28 flights per week covering Singapore, Bangkok and Kathmandu, SpiceJet is looking to operate 35 flights a week to destinations such as Guangzhou, Male, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kabul. Jet Airways plans to add seven flights every week to Dhaka, Chittagong and Male, 14 to Singapore and seven to Dar-e-Salam in Tanzania.