Thiruvananthapuram:  With the latest bilaterals now in force, Emirates is operating 37 flights every week into Kerala, the highest among all states in the country, said a top airline official.

Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, Emirates vice-president for India and Nepal, said the last renewal of bilaterals between the two countries was in 2008. After the new agreement this year, Emirates is operating 37 flights a week to the three Kerala airports. In all, Emirates operates 185 flights every week for the entire country.

“This is the highest that we fly into any single state in India. The total number of weekly seats into India that came into force in 2008 was 54,200 and with the recent renewal of the bi-laterals, the number will go up by 11,000 seats during the next one year,” Ahmad told IANS.

“The rise would be spread over three schedules. This increased seats would be shared by Emirates and Fly Dubai,” Ahmad added.

Emirates operates 14 flights every week to Kochi, 12 to Thiruvananthapuram and 11 to Kozhikode. Ahmad said there is a huge demand to fly into Kerala from Germany, Italy and Britain.

“The problem is fewer seats for India because of the constraints of bilaterals. The new Indian government appears to be proactive which suits the needs of the aviation industry,” added Ahmad.

He said the response to the Airbus A-380 super jumbo flight from Dubai that touched down at Mumbai airport Tuesday was tremendous.

“Way back in 2008, we flew the A-380 to Delhi and after that, Tuesday was the first time that this aircraft touched down at an Indian airport. We are now operating the A-380 aircraft every day to Mumbai since Tuesday,” said Ahmad.

The A-380 has 14 first class, 76 business class and 399 economy seats. In all-economy configuration, it offers 427 seats.

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