In a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, MP K Hari Babu requested for including Visakhapatnam Airport in the list of the airports which provide flights to Dubai.
The MP has given a representation in this regard and also requested to allocate seats to second-tier cities (Visakhapatnam/Vijayawada) by reducing some from metro cities. The last increase in bilateral air flights between India and UAE took place in 2008-2009, where the cities number increased from 6 to 9. Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad are the 9 cities currently.
One point mentioned in the letter is, “In view of the heavy demand for additional seats, we request you to kindly include both Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada in the list of bilateral connectivity, between India and Dubai. Also, an additional quota for tier-2 cities to the tune of 1,500 seats per week in each direction for each city. If a new increase is not possible, the congestion in metro cities can be reduced to promote inclusive growth with a proportionate allotment to tier-2 cities.”
The International Air Cargo Operations introduced in Visakhapatnam Airport is helping in increasing the GDP of agro-based and marine industries. If the idea of direct flights to Dubai gets a clearance, travel to USA and Europe would become more convenient and would help in boosting the IT Sector as service sector starts growing.
Mr. Hari Babu also mentioned that the High Commissioner of UAE is keen in starting flights from Visakhapatnam. Air Arabia and Etihad have come forward to start the services.