In the recent weeks, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has requested the Indian Government to expand the present Bilateral Air Service Agreements between India and Dubai, including increasing the weekly capacity and addition of Point of Call(s) (POC) for the Dubai carriers.
As per the reports, UAE has demanded Amritsar (ATQ) and 7 other Tier-2 cities across India to be added as Point of Call (POC) for the Dubai carrier’s, Emirates and flydubai.
It is notable that, this was not the first time, UAE, demanded Amritsar as a POC for Emirates and flydubai by the Indian Government.
According to a report, in April 2008, Dubai CAA had first requested the Indian Government, for Amritsar to be added as POC for Emirates, but in March 2009, the request was denied. It was done in order to protect the interest of Air India Express, which operated non-stop services between Amritsar and Dubai.
Emirates in a report “Assessment of Economic Benefits and Regional Benefits”, published in year 2012, mentioned that, if Emirates is allowed Amritsar as it’s POC, it would benefit the Indian Economy, by an addition of over $15 million, in today’s date over $21 million (2022). In the year 2019, flydubai had also shown a strong interest to commence operations from Amritsar.
Amritsar could be a secondary city of India, but it’s potential to develop as a major international market is not less then a metro city.
Not just Emirates or flydubai, but even Air Arabia, Oman Air, Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airlines and Turkish Airlines, etc, has always shown a kneen interest to operate from the lucrative market of Amritsar in India, but non were able to, due to hindrance in Bilateral Air Service Agreements with India.
In the year 2019, Amritsar had a Point-to-Point (P2P) traffic of over 3,20,000 to/from Dubai. With the ever-growing demand for tourism, along with business opportunities between Amritsar and Dubai, this market is expected to double in the next 10 years.
At present, over 3 Indian carriers, including, Air India Express, SpiceJet and IndiGo operates over 25 weekly flights to Dubai & Sharjah in UAE from Amritsar.
If Emirates or even flydubai is granted Amritsar as POC in the near future, it would be a game changing moment for the international connectivity of Amritsar airport.
It would be kneen to see if the Indian Government would accept the demands by UAE to expand the present Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Dubai and India.