While lauding the efforts of both the Governments in bringing the bilateral relations to their present level, the two sides held extensive talks in augmenting the mutual cooperation and forming new synergies in the Aviation sector. The two sides hailed the ever increasing air traffic movement between the two countries, providing a more enabling environment for businessmen, traders and investors.
For his part, Mr. Choubey welcomed the UAE Delegation and noted that the Indian Ministry has recently released its first ever National Civil Aviation Policy, aimed at establishing an integrated eco-system which will lead to significant growth of the civil aviation sector to promote tourism, employment and balanced regional economic growth, enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development and enhance foreign participation through liberalized FDI Regime.
Besides this, Indian Ministry’s newest initiative Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS), formulated to make regional air connectivity a reality in India and make flying affordable and convenient to the masses, was also discussed at length and the Indian Official urged His Excellency Sharaf to persuade the UAE Airlines and other companies to invest in the Scheme and avail of its benefits. To facilitate greenfield foreign investment, the Indian Government is providing a range of sops in the form of reduced excise on ATF, service tax and flexibility of code sharing, no airport charges at the RCS airports. There will also be a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to airline operators.
His Excellency Sharaf was delighted to hear the recent changes in the Indian Civil Aviation Policy and assured that UAE would be keen to be a part of it. Given its inherent business model, HE Sharaf noted that the RCS could be of interest to UAE Airlines such as Air Arabia and FlyDubai.
The two sides also called for early bilateral negotiations on enhancing seat capacity entitlements, points of call and time slots for the passenger aircrafts. Indian side agreed that a mutually convenient date would be set for bilateral negotiations.
Among other things, the issue concerning security clearance to Dnata to operate the VIP Lounge at the New Delhi International Airport was also discussed between the two sides, and the Indian Ministry Officials assured that the matter shall be looked into with due diligence.
The meeting culminated on a positive note with both sides agreeing to address the impending issues and explore newer areas of mutual cooperation.
Mr. Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Dr. Shefali Juneja, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation were also present from the Indian side.