RIYADH, Jan 26: Under a new aviation agreement between the Kingdom and India, Saudi Arabian Airlines is to extend its operations to new Indian destinations, such as Calicut, Lucknow and Bangalore, while Air-India will introduce a new service to the Madinah International Airport in addition to its existing services to Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah.
The decision was taken at a meeting held Wednesday in Jeddah to review the bilateral air services agreement between the two countries. R.K. Singh, joint secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, led the Indian team while Dr. Mohammed R. Beranji, vice president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, chaired the Saudi Arabian side. In a statement made available to Arab News, the two parties have agreed on designation of multiple airlines, both sides also decided to enhance the existing traffic entitlement of 8,500 seats per week to 20,000 seats per week with immediate effect.
For the Kingdom’s national carrier, Calicut, Lucknow and Bangalore were included as new destinations besides Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad. Madinah was included as a new destination for the Indian carrier in addition to the existing points of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. According to sources, Saudi Arabian Airlines will also fly to cities such as Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Kolkatta in the second phase of the agreement and two private airlines from India will be given permission to come to Riyadh and Dammam. Saudi Arabian Airlines is the first airline in Middle East to get the facility to fly to Calicut. Similarly, India is the first country to be granted access to operate to Madinah on a regular basis.
Both sides have also decided to free up all limitations on the cargo services. There will be no restriction in terms of frequency and point of call for operating all cargo services.