India and Kuwait to settle flights issue 'amicably'

The second round of bilateral talks between the two countries is due to take place before the end of this month and the issue will very likely figure at the meeting, with both the joint secretary, civil aviation, as well as the Indian ambassador to Kuwait, taking part in the meeting.

'Our ambassador to Kuwait has conveyed to its authorities that keeping in mind the bilateral agreement between the two countries, such unilateral action will be harmful to the interests of travelers,' said a civil aviation ministry spokesperson. 'India is ready for talks with the Kuwaiti authorities,' he added.

Civil aviation officials last week had briefed the external affairs ministry on the issue.

Kuwait recently issued notices to national carriers Indian and Air-India Express, threatening termination of flights from July 1, as New Delhi had gone back on its commitments under the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries in 2006.

In turn, Government of India officials have stated, off the record, that Kuwait was trying to take advantage of a technicality in the agreement to the advantage of its own carriers.

Gulf routes are lucrative ones for Indian, as well as Gulf carriers, mainly because of the large migrant population, mainly hailing from the Indian subcontinent, in this part of the world.