International airline major Emirates on Thursday said its India operations have contributed over $848 million annually to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The company’s contribution to the country’s GDP was assessed by a an economic impact study conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
As per the study, the company supports over 86,000 jobs in India and generates almost $1.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
“We are confident that with increased capacity, we can contribute even more to India’s economic growth and development by opening new conduits for trade and investment, through our growing worldwide network,” said Adnan Kazim, divisional senior vice president – strategic planning, revenue optimisation and aeropolitical affairs, with Emirates Airline.
The NCAER study emphasised the importance of Emirates’ contribution to the country’s economy given India’s aim to become the third-largest aviation market by 2020 and the largest by 2030.
Furthermore, the report forecasts increased contribution that Emirates would be able to make if capacity entitlements were expanded.
In February 2014, the aeronautical authorities of India and the UAE negotiated the first expansion of seat entitlements since 2008. As a result, Dubai-based carriers were awarded an additional 11,000 seats per week.
The NCAER study models predicts that an enormous economic multiplier effect if Emirates operates an additional 4,500 weekly seats between India and Dubai.
According to the report, by just adding an additional 4,500 weekly seats between India and Dubai would create 4,800 new jobs and foreign exchange earnings would rise to $1.8 billion with the arrival of almost 40,000 more tourists a year.
“The study predicts further escalation of economic benefits for the Indian economy as Emirates grows the number of seats into India,” said Saurabh Bandyopadhyay of NCAER.
“This growth would result in direct economic contribution, multiplier effect on output and job-creation along with an induced effect on tourism.
The report pointed-out that if the bilateral arrangements were expanded to allow an additional 13,849 seats per week then Emirates’ will be able to support 100,405 jobs, contribute $987.8 million towards GDP and boost foreign exchange earnings to $2 billion per year.
The study added that Emirates is well positioned to cater to the growing demand for air travel in India which is expected to double in the next 5-10 years in India, as well as to bring a growing number of tourists and business travellers to the country.
Emirates started its India operations in 1985. Currently it operates 183 weekly flights to nine points across India.