New Delhi, Jan 24 : While agreeing on designation of multiple airlines, India and Saudi Arabia have decided to enhance the existing traffic entitlement of 8,500 seats per week to 20,000 seats per week with immediate effect.
The decision was taken at a meeting held at Jeddah on January 23 to review the bilateral air services agreement.
At the meeting, the Indian delegation was led by R K Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, while the Saudi delegation was led by Dr. Mohammed R. Beranji, Vice President in the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia.
Besides Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and Hyderabad, Calicut, Lucknow and Bangalore were included as new points of call for Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, Madina was included as a new point of call for the Indian carriers in addition to the existing points of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
Significantly, Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Gulf to get the facility of flights to Calicut. Also, India is the first country to be granted access to operate to Madina on schedule 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," a government release said here today.
With the successful conclusion of this agreement, airlines of both sides will be able to add new services on the India-Saudi Arabia route, which is presently constrained due to the bilateral capacity or route limitations.
The last round of India-Saudi Arabia meeting to review the air services agreement was held in 2002.