Transport India’s new budget airline to fly to three GCC countries By Pramod Kumar October 12, 2023 Akasa Air/X Akasa Air will have to wait to start flights to Dubai as the bilateral with the emirate has been completely exhausted The Indian government has allocated flying rights to budget carrier Akasa Air for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar based on existing bilaterals to begin international operations this winter, according to a media report. The airline will have to wait to start flights to Dubai as the bilateral with the emirate has been completely exhausted, the Times of India news daily said. Akasa can apply for slots at overseas airports only after the foreign countries approve, an unnamed source told the newspaper. India’s airlines face fight for market gains from the Gulf 2023: the year airlines said goodbye to the pandemic Air India-Vistara scrutiny ‘is good news for Gulf carriers’ Bilaterals with several key destinations for Indians, such as Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, are either fully or almost entirely exhausted, the report said. In March, Emirates president Tim Clark said Indian airlines will lose financially due to traffic quotas between India and the UAE. “It is such a big market. It is not as if the cake is static. The cake is growing,” he told Reuters. The UAE had asked India’s government to approve 50,000 extra seats, but India’s civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, said it was not currently looking at increasing existing traffic limits.