Emirates Airline’s Airbus A380 is still not allowed to serve in India, one of its strongest markets. The Indian government has banned overseas carriers from flying aircraft bigger than the Boeing 747 into the country.
“The Indian market, which is huge for us, since May 2008 has been capped in terms of seats and the number of points we can serve,” Emirates president Tim Clark told ATW. “This is ridiculous because we have many travelers via Dubai to points which you cannot reach from India. We should have at least five or six additional points in India. Emirates has suggested this to the Indian government. It is a shame that we are not able to increase our presence in India,” Clark said.
Emirates operates to 10 destinations in India. “We have seen in the last four years that Indian carriers have grown business; Kingfisher is gone from the scene.”
India has not acted on requests to change regulations on very large aircraft. Clark hopes that bilateral talks between the United Arab Emirates and India will go forward to improve the situation.
Emirates also faces limited access to China, which it currently serves on routes from Dubai 32X a week, including one daily A380 service to Beijing. “Our request is to serve more points and frequencies, including the wish to operate A380s to Shanghai Pudong. So far we are not able to get more access to capture growing demand,” Clark said, adding the carrier would like to add “up to four more points in China.”
Clark said Barcelona and Glasgow are the next A380 destinations on Emirates’ radar.