Dubai has always been a lucrative aviation segment for the Indian carriers. Attractive flight tickets are provided both by the LCCs and the full service carriers, which often vie for the market share of this segment of travel. The main contributory reasons for the high potential Dubai market are that the Indians have been migrating to the Gulf countries since decades in search for better livelihood opportunities and, therefore, they form a sizeable part of the population there. Dubai has a stable polity, a progressive economy and a strategic geo-political location. This has helped it become one of top trading destinations of this region. It is also a place which sees unique amalgamation of the western influences with the oriental philosophy while retaining the uniqueness of the Middle-East cultures. This is what makes it quite an appealing International destination, and more so for the Indians due to its proximity. Due to the close economic, cultural and political relations between this city-state and India, the Indian carriers operate a good number of daily and weekly flights to and from this destination, meeting the crucial requirements of better connectivity between the cities.
Due to the significance of this lucrative sector of aviation, there is a hotly contested competition between the carriers who are allowed to fly the international routes. It is noteworthy that the private domestic airlines in India are allowed to operate international flights after five years of domestic operations. So, besides the Air India and Jet airways which are the full service carriers, the flights to Dubai are also operated by Spicejet and IndiGo Airlines which are the low cost carriers. IndiGo Airlines has emerged a big player due to its on-time performance record and the offer of cheap flights to the customers. It flies from five different cities of India, namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi. IndiGo has recently reduced the return fares of its Dubai tickets from Mumbai by about 20-25 percent in this competitive market segment and added one more daily flight. This is expected to make other carriers reduce their fares as well.
It is interesting to note certain facts of aviation between Dubai and Indian cities:
- Mumbai-Dubai flight route is the busiest global route from India with 91 weekly flights and 21000 seats. From Dubai, this route was the fourth busiest as per the statistics of 2011.
- IndiGo and Spicejet have only one daily flight on this route whereas Jet has four flights. Emirates offers highest capacity with 35 weekly flights.
- In terms of passenger numbers, India is the single biggest destination country for Dubai travelers. This means that while, in terms of the number of flights from Dubai, India is the fourth busiest destination, in fact more passengers land to India from Dubai. There has been robust growth of the passenger traffic between the two countries.