Arabian Business Weekly Update 8th June 2004

Does Dubai Civil Aviation really want to block low cost airlines?

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By  David Ingham Published  June 8, 2004

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|

Come on DCA

One thing that really caught my eye recently was a story in Gulf News, which quoted a senior Dubai Civil Aviation official saying that low cost airlines will not be permitted to fly from Dubai. According to the report, the authority is concerned about compromising its service standards. If so, this is a worrying development. Emirates Airline has said on several ocaasions that it does not fear low cost airlines because most of its traffic is long haul and no frills carriers, as they are known, tend to fly shorter routes. If that is the case, then open up the market. Allow MenaJet, for example, the low cost carrier due to launch from Beirut, to fly to Dubai. Give Smart Jet, another budding budget airline, the permission to fly that it is currently seeking. It’s not as if there isn’t a market for low cost carriers. Indian expatriates, as reported in the current issue of Arabian Business, are up in arms about their own goverment’s refusal to allow Air Arabia, the Sharjah-based startup, to fly to India. Allowing another low cost operator to launch from Dubai would increase the pressure on the Indian government to allow no frills carriers. If Emirates Airline doesn’t see low cost airlines as a direct threat, then the DCA should allow them to operate from Dubai. Let the customer decide what he wants.||**||

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