Emirates CCO Urges Increased Capacity for India’s Growing Aviation Market and Open to Partnerships

Emirates Calls for Enhanced Bilateral Flying Rights and Partnerships to Match India's Aviation Growth.

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DUBAI: The rapid growth of India’s aviation market needs to be matched with increased capacity, and greater competition will offer more choices for consumers, said Adnan Kazim, Emirates Airline Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer.

He advocated for more bilateral flying rights between Dubai and India. Regarding potential partnerships in India, Kazim stated that Emirates is open to future collaborations if Indian airlines are interested.

Kazim highlighted that India is a top-tier market for Emirates, with current demand exceeding available capacity. The airline currently operates direct flights to nine Indian cities from Dubai. Over the years, Emirates has been pushing for increased bilateral rights between the two countries, which currently stand at 65,000 seats per week, to accommodate the rising travel demand.

“India has always been an important market for Emirates. We operate 171 weekly frequencies between India and Dubai, connecting nine cities. Demand remains strong and is not influenced by seasons or holidays,” Kazim said.

In a recent interview in Dubai, he mentioned that more airlines entering the market and ordering wide-body planes for long-haul operations in India are positive developments that will provide more options for consumers.

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Kazim emphasized the need to match the growth of India’s aviation market, which has a population of nearly 1.5 billion, with sufficient capacity to meet the growing international travel demand. He noted that current bilateral flying rights allow Dubai carriers, Emirates and Flydubai, to operate 65,000 seats weekly to India, and Indian airlines can operate the same number of seats to Dubai. These flying rights are fully utilized, with the last increase occurring in 2015.

Emirates operates flights to Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Ahmedabad. Indian carriers such as Air India, Air India Express, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara also fly to Dubai.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting, Kazim said that decisions on bilateral flying rights are made by the governments of India and the UAE. He expressed optimism about the strong and strategic relationship between the two countries.

“We have solid engagements and dialogues with many entities in India. We are quite satisfied and happy with the support we receive from all the stakeholders in India,” he said. Emirates also has an interline agreement with SpiceJet.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing civil aviation markets, with domestic airlines expanding their operations and fleets to meet rising traffic demand. Kazim welcomed competition, noting that over 100 airlines operate in Dubai, creating a collaborative ecosystem. He stressed that a single airline cannot cover the world, highlighting the need for partnerships and collaborations.

“That is why, even though we have more than 140 stations, we have interline or codeshare agreements with 150 airlines. This stability allows us to enter smaller markets and create options,” Kazim concluded.

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