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India, Pakistan to expand air connectivity

March 07, 2006 19:02 IST
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India and Pakistan on Tuesday decided to expand the existing air services agreement by enhancing the capacities and frequencies.

A joint statement, issued after civil aviation talks between the two countries, said the discussions were held in a 'friendly and cordial atmosphere.'

'Both sides expressed desire to expand scope of existing air services agreement and agree to continue discussion for the enhancement of capacities, frequencies and gateways for the benefit of the travelling public of two countries,' the statement said.

India and Pakistan now operate 12 flights each. They have decided to augment the capacities besides increasing the frequency of flights.

The issue of multiple designation and multiple destination also figured in the talks, in which five members each were represented from both the sides.

Indian side was led by Satinder Singh, director general civil aviation, while the Pakistan delegation was led by additional secretary (defence) Maj Gen (rtd) Mohammed Ashraf Chowdhary, during the talks.

During discussion on multiple designation, both the countries considered the option of allowing private airlines in the scheme.

On the issue of multiple-destination, Pakistan proposed new services to Kochi in Kerala, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Indian side proposed new services to Islamabad and Peshawar.

At present, India operates services to Lahore and Karachi, while Pakistan operates to Delhi and Mumbai.

The statement said both the sides will continue with the discussion.

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