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Emirates to ask new Indian gov't for more landing rights
June 3, 2014, 8:57 am

Emirates Airline will imminently ask the new Indian government to increase the carrier's seat capacity to the Asian nation, CEO Tim Clark has revealed.

UAE airlines are continuously fighting for more access to India, which provides about 900,000 workers to the Gulf country.

The previous Indian government had long restricted landing rights but it was replaced in May by new right wing Prime Minister Narenda Modi, who has a track record of economic reforms.

Clark told Arabian Business he would move swiftly to "again bang the drum" for Emirates to have greater flying rights.

The airline currently has about 65,000 seats a week. It had been 54,000 for six years.

"We'll move as quickly as we can with the new Indian aviation minister," he said on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Doha.

"There are nearly a million Indians in Dubai, they work in every walk of life.

"The demand out of India is huge and as the government of Dubai goes through it's commercial renaissance ... who's building it? I see Indian workers, I see Indians in every single aspect of the economy in Dubai.

"For me it's a slam dunk (that Emirates could fill more seats to India). There's no city close. Nothing is as potent as Dubai for India today."

Clark said he hoped the new government would further open up the Indian aviation industry, which he said could accommodate 10 times the number of flights today.

"I hope that they return to the wonderful economic liberal days that gets the economy up and running ... and the government recognises how important civil aviation is not just to India but for the rest of the world," Clark said.

"The maths and the figures are pretty daunting when you think of the population of India, it's engagement with the global economy, the number if non-resident Indians there are - I could go on forever.

"So for every seat that's flying in and out of India, today you probably need ten more. That's what I'd like to see."

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