Dubai airline Emirates and its low cost sister Flydubai have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the aviation sector of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The agreement will see the airlines work with Andhra Pradesh’s Economic Development Board to support the development of aviation infrastructure, sharing of expertise and identification of investment opportunities.
“The Emirates Group is committed to future investment and expansion in support of India’s 2020 goal to be the world’s third largest aviation market,” said Emirates Group chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
“We recognise that airlines have a major role to play as facilitators of economic and industrial growth, and strategic partnerships such as this are very important to achieve that.”
Emirates said the two sides would collaborate on the potential development of aviation facilities and skill development projects.
The agreement comes as the UAE and other Gulf countries seek to increase their capacity to India.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said last year 100 per cent of the 130,000 seats allocated between the two countries per week had been used.
Dubai alone attracted 2.1 million Indian tourists last year, an increase of 15 per cent, the emirate’s tourism body said on Wednesday. This compared to 1.53 million tourists from neighbouring Saudi Arabia.