India needs to open up airports, bilaterals to foreign airlines: flydubai

18 June, 2018

flydubai senior VP commercial operations GCC, Africa and India subcontinent Sudhir Sreedharan stated airports in India need to be opened up to foreign airlines, noting that "an imaginative approach would be to make secondary airports open-sky till they hit four million passengers" (The Hindu Business Line, 17-Jun-2018). Mr Sreedharan said: "In fact, the bilaterals are in India's favour because, while carriers from Dubai [Emirates and flydubai]) are restricted to just 11 airports in India, Indian carriers face no such curbs in Dubai. They can, and do, fly in from all 80 airports". Mr Sreedharan said India could open up the skies to more flights for foreign carriers, at least for two-three weeks during festivals, to assess the demand and devise a policy. This would also lead to better utilisation of airports. Mr Sreedharan also commented: "If there's no protectionism with cars, refrigerators, TVs, or mobile phones, why are we so caught up with airlines? Once a policy is tabled, planners must ensure it attracts the participation of every player".