India and Kuwait are in conversation with each other to increase limit of 12,000 seats per week for carriers of the two countries, said Kuwait's Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Ramachandran said, "The agreement between the state of Kuwait and India is for 12,000 seats per week for carriers of both countries. This is currently fully utilized by both Indian carriers flying to Kuwait and Kuwaiti carriers like us flying into India. So this 12,000 seats per week limit is part of an old agreement between India and Kuwait signed in 2007. At that time, there were only about 3 lakh Indians living in Kuwait."
"Today there are about 11 lakh Indians living in Kuwait which means that there is an urgent need to raise this limit from 12,000 to what is a more appropriate figure today which will allow Indian carriers to operate more in Kuwait and vice versa. The moment we have a new agreement in place which the two governments are currently in conversation we would love to expand primarily to the smaller cities. Because for workers in Kuwait to fly back to their hometown, they prefer to fly directly to their hometown and not via the busy international gateways," he added.
While talking with ANI, Ramachandran further stated that Jazeera is operating in India for about 15 years. And, over the last five years, the airways have expanded its operation into India.
Jazeera is a low-cost airline based out of Kuwait. And today we fly to eight cities in India. Frequency is about 30 a week. We've been operating right through the last five years including during the Pandemic. We have been serving the Indian population based in Kuwait even during the one-day Bharat program.
"Today there are about 1.1 million Indians living in Kuwait. Most of them are in middle and low-income jobs. And so they really want a low-cost option to travel back to their home country. And along with our Indian friends and low-cost carriers operating in Kuwait, we are very proud to serve this segment. We fly to a combination of the larger cities and the smaller cities. So the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai but also the smaller cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Trivandrum are part of our network. So how we can see that the Sierra is going to expand their wings in India in the coming days," he said.
"So at the moment, as you know, traffic between countries abroad and India are governed by air services agreements. The agreement between the state of Kuwait and India is for 12,000 seats per week for carriers of both countries. This is currently fully utilized by both Indian carriers flying to Kuwait and Kuwaiti carriers like us flying into India. So this 12,000 seats per week limit is part of a very old agreement between India and Kuwait signed in 2007. At that time, there were only about three lakh Indians living in Kuwait," he added.
He further stated that today India constitutes about 15 per cent of our overall business.
Talking about expanding operations, Jazeera's CEO said that they would like to deploy more services including places like Goa where there is huge tourism potential. (ANI)