Dubai has requested India to give unrestricted access to airports in the Northeast for its airlines, Emirates and flyDubai. This is the first time that any country has sought an open sky policy for only a specific part of India.
“We are keen to have our airlines operating to the North East region (NER) of India. We request you to extend an open sky to NE airports such as Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Jorhat, Bagdogra, Aizwal, Imphal, Silchar, Agartala and the new airport coming up in Gangtok besides any other,” Dubai Civil Aviation Authority head Mohammed Ahil wrote to aviation secretary R N Choubey recently”.
Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha confirmed having received the request and the government is yet to take a view on it.
Dubai, which has the highest flying rights to India, has been trying for some time to get more bilaterals. However given the adverse comments made by CAG for the UPA regime due to the liberal flying rights to Dubai, the NDA is treading the issue with caution. The Modi government, in fact, tied up granting more flying rights to Dubai to Indian carriers getting prime slots at the Dubai airport.