Tengrinews.kz reports citing press-service of Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Ministry stated that there was no official agreement between Kazakhstan and UAE on the air connection. That’s why all the flights since 1995 were made based on a memorandum of understanding. As per the agreement, Etihad and Air Arabia were appointed from UAE side and Air Astana and SCAT were appointed by Kazakhstan party to make the flights.
Lately Dubai emirate suggested to include one more carrier into this list, but Kazakhstan aviation authorities spoke against this. “Appointment of the third air company FlyDUbai is not provisioned for in the acting memorandum of understanding,” the Ministry’s message states. This offer contradicts the agreement’s principle of equal opportunities of the appointed air carriers.
“Giving FlyDubai a right for additional flights would have led to an imbalance in favor of the Arabic party and would have violated the existing parity principle, because the number of the Arabic companies’ flights would have increased. This would have had a negative effect on the positions of Kazakhstan air carriers,” the Ministry states. The authority also noted that the Arabic party submitted a letter with the offer to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss this issue.
As a result, Air Astana was banned from all flights to Dubai airport in October 2010 and the carrier had to transfer its arrival point to Abu Dhabi airport. SCAT air company was banned by Dubai aviation authorities this April.
Meanwhile, according to the head of Kazakhstan Tourist Association Rashid Shaukenov, Dubai remains the most profitable and popular flights destination for Kazakhstan tourists. “Such changes are of course causing complications for our tourists. But we are not scared of challenges! The tourists will now arrive in Abu Dhabi or other neighboring airports and take a bus to Dubai,” Shaikenov said.
By Vladimir Prokopenko