Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today asserted that Indian airlines should get their "fair share" wherever they fly amid local carriers facing slot issues at Dubai airport.
The remarks of the minister, who emphasised that working difficulties need to be sorted out, come a day after Dubai Airports said Indian airlines operate more number of flights than their Dubai-based counterparts between the two countries despite "competitive slot situation".
Local carriers, including SpiceJet and IndiGo, have been raising concerns over not getting adequate and right slots at the Dubai airport, one of the world's busiest aerodromes.
Responding to a query about the slot issue being faced by the Indian operators at the Dubai airport, Raju said things are done between countries at the level of equality.
"Let us not get into arguments. Country to country, these are done at the level of equality. India's advantage is that we have more destinations. So, it has to be done at a level of equality. Indian players should get their fair share wherever they are," he said on the sidelines of an event here.
"There might be working difficulties. Those working difficulties have to be sorted out."
According to the government, airlines of India and the UAE (Dubai) are utilising their full capacity on India-Dubai route.
Currently, these airlines operate 559 flights every week on this route. Between India and the Gulf, around 4.2 lakh seats are available every week, with Dubai leading the chart with over 65,000 seats each per week.
On Thursday, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths had said that despite the competitive slot situation, Indian carriers continue to grow services, operating more frequencies than Dubai-based airlines between Dubai and India.
Noting that there is clearly demand for more seats, he had also expressed confidence that the airlines operating on these routes would take up more seat capacity, if agreed by Dubai and India, and reap the benefits of that growth.
Dubai Airports is the operator of Dubai International airport.
"Dubai International is the busiest airport for international passenger traffic in the world, with 90 carriers connecting the airport to more than 240 global destinations with high demand for a limited supply of slots," he had said.