Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) has reaffirmed its commitment to India after pulling out of a decision to launch services to Kozhikode. It had been criticised for the move, even being accused of violating a bilateral agreement signed between India and the United Arab Emirates, Arabian Business reported.

It had received clearance in early July from the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate its widebodies to Kozhikode (Karipur), which also serves the city of Malappuram in India's southern state of Kerala.

Emirates had sought approval for widebody operations from Kozhikode citing high demand from Keralan expat workers in the UAE. The carrier's sister carrier flydubai already operates 3x weekly to Kozhikode using B737-800s.

“We are always reviewing market opportunities in India to ensure that our capacity is currently deployed to best serve customer demand in India. Emirates continues to serve Kerala with multiple daily flights to Kochi Int'l and Thiruvananthapuram,” a spokesperson for the airline told Arabian Business.

Emirates currently serves nine destinations across India, according to the ch-aviation capacities module, operating to Mumbai Int'l (38x weekly), Delhi Int'l (28x weekly), Bangalore Int'l (24x weekly), Chennai and Hyderabad Int'l (21x weekly each), Kochi (14x weekly), Ahmedabad and Kolkata Int'l (11x weekly each), and Thiruvananthapuram (daily).

K M Basheer, president of the Malabar Development Forum, a title that refers to the historical name for India's southwest coast, accused Emirates at a news conference last week of violating the India-UAE Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) by pulling out of the decision to fly to Kozhikode, according to India's Deccan Chronicle.

However, Pradeep Singh Kharola​, secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, told Arabian Business that this was not the case, saying: “These are business decisions of airlines.”