Business

Emirates keen to help A.P. build airport at Amaravati

Wings up: Emirates has also been approached by Madhya
Pradesh to help upgrade the Indore and Bhopal airports.

Wings up: Emirates has also been approached by Madhya Pradesh to help upgrade the Indore and Bhopal airports.  

Airline will provide technical inputs, but won’t invest: V-P

Emirates, one of the world’s finest airlines, is keen to help the Andhra Pradesh government to build a new airport at Amaravati, the State’s new capital in the making.

The State government had recently invited the airline to invest in the construction of a greenfield airport and to set up a hub and MRO facility there.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had also urged Emirates to help build the capacity at the existing airport at Vizag, upgrade it and to operate flights from the coastal city and other places of the state to Dubai.

“We have been welcomed by Andhra Pradesh to assist in the new airport project. We were invited for a visit. I have seen the master plan and it is fabulous,” said Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, vice-president, India & Nepal, Emirates.

“We will be happy to provide inputs and technical expertise to help the State build a great airport. But we will not be investing in the airport. We are keen to help and are evaluating steps, but it all depends on the green signal from the Indian government at the Centre,” he said.

Positive sign

“We are happy that the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Indian government are looking at civil aviation in a positive way and we are hopeful that Amravati will have a magnificent airport. We will be happy to help,” he added. Emirates has also been approached by the Madhya Pradesh government to help in airport upgradation at Indore and Bhopal.

The Hyderabad airport, which is now in Telangana, witnessed phenomenal growth under Mr. Naidu when he was the chief minister of the undivided State. The then Hyderabad was not an important destination in Emirate’s network.

But as Mr. Naidu initiated many reforms, Hyderabad gained prominence and Emirates, which had then operated three flights a week, increased the frequency to eight and now operates 21 flights a week to Dubai.

Emirates officials said that Mr. Naidu was keen to replicate that success at Amaravati and at other airports in his State. He wanted Emirates to operate flights to Vizag, but unless more capacity is assigned Emirates cannot operate. Currently, the governments of UAE and India are discussing to increase the bilaterals which have been exhausted completely. Indian and Dubai carriers are flying 65,200 seats each a week and have asked for more.

“We are looking for new opportunities in India but we are restricted by capacity. We want to fly to more destinations and allocate more capacity, but it all depends on the two governments to increase the bilaterals,” Mr. Ahmad.

Emirates currently flies 175 wide-body flights a week to nine destinations in India, while Indian carriers are flying 358 flights a week from 18 Indian destinations to Dubai, which indicates Emirates has a vast scope for expansion.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:54:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/emirates-keen-to-help-ap-build-airport-at-amaravati/article19982546.ece

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