An MoU was signed between Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board and The Emirates Group during the meeting with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The Chief Minister recalled how he was instrumental in the expansion of Emirates Airlines in India, and in starting the first Emirates flight from Hyderabad.
The Emirates Group expressed keen interest in operating in Amaravati and the other parts of Andhra Pradesh, once regulations are relaxed by Government of India. The number of seats from India in a flight are limited by the agreement with the union government and needs to be revised, said Emirates officials.
The Chief Minister invited HH Sheikh Ahmed to come to Amaravati and explore possibilities of building and operating airports and start a joint venture in aviation with the government of Andhra Pradesh.
To this, HH Sheikh Ahmed responded positively, and said he will ask his team to travel and examine the potential. “An entire ecosystem should be built for an airline to succeed. Dubai has 1 lakh hotel rooms, and will have 1.5 lakh rooms by 2020. For flights to enable more movement of passengers, the ecosystem should provide for other facilities like accommodation, shopping, tourist attractions and business opportunities”, said HH Sheikh Ahmed.
The Chief Minister and the accompanying delegation from AP were taken around the Network Control Centre, a 25,000 sq ft large centre that monitors all their stations worldwide, and air traffic in real time. The centre tracks weather conditions and their impact on flight schedules, and consists of a Crisis Management Centre, which is designed to address emergencies.
The MoU signed also included a discussion on setting up a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), an aviation training centre and a manufacturing unit of in-flight consumables. These are likely to bring in an investment of almost ₹30,000 crore. It was signed by APEDB CEO Jasthi Krishna Kishore and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Suri was also present in the meeting.