Gulf carriers will be given more routes: Praful Patel

Dubai: India is ready to give Gulf carriers more routes and seats on a reciprocal basis, civil aviation minister Praful Patel has said.

According to the minister, various Gulf carriers are seeking access to more Indian cities as well as increased seats but "we have asked them to give more seats to us since there are more Indian carriers now seeking rights to fly to this sector," he said in an interview here.

"We are ready to give more seats for all Gulf carriers, provided our carriers also get more," he added.

Patel pointed out that over the last three years, the seats in India-UAE sector had risen by 200 per cent and that it would keep on increasing. "With Indian carriers also wanting more seats under the bilaterals, we will also ask for more seats," he added.

The latest Indian carrier to queue up for the lucrative India-Gulf/MidEast route will be Jet Airways. Jet will start services on these routes from January 1, 2008 to destinations such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.