Dubai, Jan 26: Saudi Arabian Airlines will 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 in Jeddah to review the bilateral air services agreement between the two countries. Ministry of Civil Aviation joint secretary R K Singh 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, the two parties said they have agreed on designation of multiple airlines and also decided to enhance the existing traffic entitlement of 8,500 seats per week to 20,000 seats per week with immediate effect.
Saudi Arabian Airlines is also likely to fly to cities such as Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Kolkata 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 West Asia 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, Arab News said.
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.