Jet Airways corners 44.8% of increased seats to Abu Dhabi

Jet Airways has been allocated 44.8 per cent of the total increased allocation of seats between India and Abu Dhabi, made available under the bilateral air services agreement, while rival SpiceJet has secured 28.2 per cent of the additional seats for the current year.

National carrier Air India has got about 27 per cent of the total 10,507 seats allocated under the increases bilateral seat entitlements signed between India and Abu Dhabi.

The three airlines will share the 10,507 seats allocated from the enhanced seat allocation for the winter schedule of 2013 and the coming summer schedule of 2014, civil aviation ministry sources said.

The move to allocate a higher share of the bilateral seat allocation comes at a time when a the Supreme Court is hearing a petition challenging the aviation ministry's largesse of more than doubling the number of seats available to UAE airliners under the India-UAE bilateral aviation pact.

The petitioner has alleged that the bilateral deal was largely instrumental in getting the Jet-Etihad deal through.

Seat  allocation under the air services pact between India and Abu Dhabi, will be made in a period of three years - 11,000 seats per week in 2013, followed by 12,800 seats per week in 2014 and 12,870 seats per week in 2015.

"The increase in bilateral seats entitlements between India and Abu Dhabi is to come in three phases and the current allocation is from the first phase of increase", the official said.

India and Abu Dhabi had, on 24 April, announced an increase in bilateral seat entitlements of their respective airlines from 13,600 to 50,270. The agreement, which preceded the Jet Airways' agreement to sell a 24-per cent stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad had raised a storm.

The union cabinet, however, went on with the additional seat entitlement and a post-facto approval.

In the allocation, Jet Airways has also got 4 destinations, including  Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mangalore to operate its flights from.

Air India and SpiceJet have got two destinations each - Air India from Delhi and Mumbai and SpiceJet from Calicut and Mangalore.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has given four weeks to the centre to respond to a petition filed by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy seeking a stay on the Jet-Etihad Airways deal, which, according to him, is inimical to the interests of national carrier Air India.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had issued notices to aviation ministry, commerce ministry, FIPB, Jet Airways and Etihad and gave them four weeks' time to respond to a petition filed by Subramanian Swamy seeking a stay on the Jet-Etihad deal (See: SC admits PIL by Subramanian Swamy against Jet-Etihad deal).http://www.domain-b.com/aero/airlines/20131009_subramanian_swamy.html

Subramanian Swamy in his petition had argued that the Jet-Etihad deal would affect an already bleeding Air India and take away what little has left for the national airline to stay afloat.

The petitioner also questioned the aviation ministry's largesse of more than doubling the number of seats available to UAE airliners under the India-UAE bilateral aviation pact, which was largely instrumental in getting the Jet-Etihad deal through.