Airlines likely to get more foreign flights
“The negotiations would be to explore possibilities of enhancing additional traffic rights with those countries with whom existing traffic rights have almost got exhausted,” it said.
Some of the new routes that the national carrier Air India would be flying would include: Rome-Madrid/Barcelona; Moscow; Sydney/Melbourne; Nairobi; and Al Najaf (Iraq). Private carrier Jet Airways would add Jakarta, Barcelona, Zurich, Tashkent and Ho Chi Minh City to its international network.
The talks are expected to benefit several foreign airlines, including Emirates, which has been requesting the civil aviation ministry to extend the bilateral limits for several months now. The move may also benefit most of the domestic carriers which are looking at increasing their frequencies on short-haul international routes.
However, Indian carriers including Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet have seen far lower utilisation of the bilateral traffic rights compared to their international counterparts. According to the last year's data, the domestic airlines were able to utilise only 47% on the route to Sharjah, 55% in Dubai and 91% in Oman as compared to international carriers which were utilised 93%, 99%and 100%
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