India-UK “sweep away rigid restrictions” on capacity


SYDNEY (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) - India and the UK have formalised their recently expanded bilateral air services agreement, which includes a doubling in passenger services in 2006 and unlimited cargo services.

By the end of next year, airlines on both sides may operate 56 services per week between London and Delhi or Mumbai, plus 35 services per week to other points. That compares to the limit of 16 services per week by airlines of each side just a year ago, underscoring the massive shift that has taken place in Indian aviation policy from protectionism to openness.

The formal signing comes just days after the European Union (EU) announced plans to sign a single aviation agreement with India on behalf of all EU member states. The EU claims the move could prove "revolutionary" for the aviation market between India and Europe, opening up new routes and competition that would fuel rapid rates of traffic growth.

India and the UK formally signed a new bilateral air services agreement, following discussions held in Apr-05:

UK Government: "The opening up of the UK-India aviation market is good news for travellers. This new agreement sweeps away many of the old restrictions and will make travel between the UK and India both easier and cheaper", Alistair Darling. UK Department for Transport.

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