New Indian routes on hold.
DUBAI -- Emirates on Wednesday put to rest speculation in aviation circles that it is planning four new routes into India. The Middle East's largest carrier, in response to questions by this newspaper, said it has no "immediate plans" to increase its Indian routes.
The airline operates 195 flights per week to 10 destinations in India. Reacting to the reports about its expansion plans in India, Ahmed Khoory, Emirates senior vice-president, Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean, said: "India is a very important market to Emirates, but we have no immediate plans to launch new services to India."
It was hinted in a recent study that the carrier plans more flights to Amritsar, Mangalore, Pune and Tiruchirapalli.
With Indian state-run carrier Air India losing its wings to international players and the good times ending for Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher, analysts see the market opening up for Emirates.
What fanned the speculation was a survey released last week which hinted that the Dubai-based carrier is looking at a 52 per cent increase in the number of seats on Indian flights -- from 54,200 now to 80,000 weekly. The survey, conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), claimed an estimated economic benefit of $106 million if Emirates is allowed flights to the four new airports.-- firstname.lastname@example.org
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