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Air India, SpiceJet eye Jet Airways' lucrative Dubai route

IANS  |  New Delhi 

With suspending its international flights in the face of deep financial crisis and staring at closure, rivals and are eyeing the beleaguered carrier's flying rights to the lucrative India-route.

The two are learnt to have urged the Civil Ministry to allocate traffic rights to them, in case fails to utilize the weekly seat quota granted by the government.

Talking to IANS, a said that fares on the India-route had soared following sudden withdrawal of nearly 13,000 operated by on the sector.

"The may be reallocated to domestic carriers before has its monopoly at the cost of Indian carriers," the from the Indian said.

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet, which has been on an expansion drive, also wants the government to allocate it the unutilized so that it could mount more capacity on the commercially profitable route.

The Gurgaon-based is looking to add about 6,000 seats per week from about 12,800 seats per week now. The on Monday announced to operate flights to eight foreign destinations including from The new flights will be started by May-end.

Industry experts have supported the idea of allocating unutilized seat entitlements by Jet Airways, stating it will help consumers.

"The government's job is to protect the consumers and the sector and not necessarily an individual company. The promoters knew that the was in financial trouble almost a year back, yet they have been playing hard ball and negotiations have been stretched to the point that finding a is going to be a real challenge," said Dhiraj Mathur, Partner, PwC.

He said that the drastic capacity reduction has sent fares into the stratosphere and threatens to jeopardize the sector's phenomenal growth in the past decade.

"Given this, the government should specify a very short time limit for concluding the resolution and then allocate the international traffic rights to other willing who have the capacity," he added.

Crisis-ridden Jet Airways is desperately looking for funds as it is making its last ditch effort to get an investor on board. The airline is currently operating 7 aircraft from its peak of 119 a few months back.

also supported domestic airlines' demand to re-allocate traffic rights given the twin issue of banning overflying of Indian carriers over its airspace and Jet crisis pushing the fares northward.

"Due to restrictions imposed by flying time to Dubai went up thus burning more fuel. Jet crisis added to the problem. The government must not allow to take over the India-Dubai sector," he added.

(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at nirbhay.k@ians.in)

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 18:54 IST
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