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BUSINESS - FLIGHTS TO CHINA

China skies open to Indian private airlines

Indian private airlines can now fly to Chinese cities

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

 

17 April, 2005: India and China have signed an agreement to designate multiple airlines from one country to operate on specific routes to the other. This will pave the way for Indian private airlines like Jet Airways and Sahara to fly to China at a later date. The agreement on this effect was signed between India and China during the recent visit of Chinse Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to India.

The latest move allows private carriers like Jet and Sahara to fly to Shanghai via Singapore or Hong Kong. Same is true for Chinese airlines as well.

The aviation agreement also decided to hike the number of point of services from the existing two to 14 with immediate effect, and to 42 in the summer of 2006.

The agreement also says that not more than 21 weekly frequencies may be operated by any designated airlines of one country to any destination point in the territory of the other country.

Said Indian Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel: “The existing agreement has scope to allow private airlines to fly to China, but at present only national carriers will use the increased capacity. Private carriers will have to apply for permission.” This is by far one of the most liberal bilateral air services agreements by India. This allows carriers to operate the same flight to multiple destinations in the other country.

Designated airlines from India can combine flights of Beijing and Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou and Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Indian aviation majors can now operate scheduled air services in both directions from any point in India to any six destinations in China through three intermediate stops.

This bilateral aviation agreement follows the technical level talks between the two countries at Beijing on January 23, 2005 and civil aviation consultations in New Delhi on 16-17 March 2005.

India and China have also agreed on specified code sharing arrangements.


OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

 

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