India’s largest private airline, Jet Airways, will fly to the Gulf from early next year.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted traffic rights to the airline to fly to four Gulf destinations, starting Janurary 1. Jet Airways had applied for traffic rights on the India-Gulf/Middle East routes in July 2007. The destinations sought by the airline included Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, government has now allowed the airline to fly four destinations in the Gulf - Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. An Indian cabinet resolution had given monopoly to the national carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines, over the Gulf routes till the end of this year.
The traffic rights that have been granted to Jet Airways now are:
• 3, 682 seats to Kuwait per week of which 1,582 seats are in the Delhi-Kuwait route, 1,050 seats in Trivandrum-Kuwait route and 1,050 seats in Kochi-Kuwait route.
• 3,150 seats to Oman of which 1,050 seat are in the Kochi-Muscat route, 1,050 seats in the Trivandrum-Muscat route, and 1,050 in Calicut-Muscat route
• 2,100 seats to Qatar of which 1,050 are in Mumbai-Doha route and 1,050 in the Calicut- Doha route.
• 2,100 seats to Bahrain of which 1,050 are in the Mumbai-Bahrain and 1,050 in Kochi-Bahrain route.
The airline’s request for grant of traffic rights on India-Dubai and India-Abu Dhabi routes is under government consideration, a statement said.
The total entitlement for Indian carriers on the Gulf routes at present is 85,481 seats per week of which 21,950 are for Dubai, 7,420 for Abu Dhabi, 10,206 for Sharjah, 8,000 for Kuwait, 10,892 for Qatar, 7,546 for Oman, 10,967 for Bahrain and 8,500 for Saudi Arabia.
The utilisation by Indian carriers of the available Gulf routes is 49,348 seats per week of which 20,002 are for Dubai, 3,313 for Abu Dhabi, 8,690 for Sharjah, 3,475 for Kuwait, 1,526 for Qatar, 3,475 for Oman, 1,526 for Bahrain, and 7,341 for Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, talking to the Gulf Daily News, Jet Airways Dubai-based Gulf regional manager Shakir Kantawala said: “It is a positive development in case the go-ahead is given to us.” He said that the Gulf was a lucrative route to operate to, with Bahrain and the UAE "growing tremendously".
"In addition, Qatar is poised for rapid and dramatic growth. In all this, we would fit in perfectly," he added.