India opens Gulf to private airlines

Jet Airways has been allowed to start operations from 1 January,2008, ending the exclusivity enjoyed by state-owned Air- India in the highlyrewarding sector, said a report in Hindustan Times. Jet Airways recentlystarted flights from Indiato the US and Canada and announced plans to connect severalcities in Europe. It is also looking atconnecting cities in Iranand Israel.

An existing government policy prevents private Indian airlinesto operate international flights to and from Gulf till the end
of 2007. “The Gulf routes are reserved only for the Indian publiccarriers till then,” a civil aviation ministry statement was quoted in thereport. Jet Airways has been granted rights to offer 3,682 seats to Kuwait every week, of which 1,582 are from thecapital Delhi and the remaining from the southern state of Kerala (1,050 fromThiruvananthapuram and 1,050 from Kochi).

The airline will also be free to offer up to 3,150 seats to Oman of which 1,050 are from Kochi,1,050 from Thiruvananthapuram and 1,050 from Kozhikode also in Kerala. Besides that, it can offer 2,100 seats to Qatar of which 1050 are from Mumbai and 1,050from Kozhikode. Similarly, it can offer 2,100seats to Bahrain of which1,050 are from Mumbai and 1,050 from Kochi.

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