Jet Airways may start Mumbai-Shanghai flight

16 January, 2008:

Jet Airways may soon get the nod to fly the Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco route. India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said after the India-China Trade and Investment Summit that he was optimistic that the proposal would be cleared soon.

If this happens, Jet Airways will be the first non-Chinese airline to use a Chinese hub as a transit to a third country. The Indian airline major was keen to make Shanghai its hub for operations in the Asia-Pacific region just as it has made Brussels its European hub.

With both India and China deciding to give a push to greater people-to-people ties, flying between India and China is set to become easier.

With the permission almost ready, the airline is expected to start flights to Shanghai from New Delhi soon as well to take advantage of the growing traffic between the two countries. The air services agreement between India and China states that each country's airlines can run 42 flights a week. But while three Chinese airlines run 18 flights a week, India is just able to utilize four of the slots with Air India flying Mumbai-Shanghai four times a week.

The government had put on the backburner the proposal of Great Wall cargo Airline after it was blacklisted by the US for allegedly transshipping nuclear material to Iran. The Indian government said it could fly to New Delhi but not to Mumbai or Chennai that had nuclear establishments close by. Of late things have been clearing up, it is said. The possibility of Jet Airways being cleared to fly the China route is expected to come as a reciprocal gesture from the Chinese part.




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