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Foreign carriers start day-time flights from India

May 17, 2008 14:58 IST

People wishing to fly abroad now have more options of travelling during day time, with several foreign airlines starting additional flights during these hours for passengers' convenience following India's insistence.

The civil aviation ministry has been pressing the international carriers to do away with night services and operate additional flights during day time and the effort has started bearing fruit now.

Premier British carrier Virgin Atlantic took the lead in introducing day time flights out of Delhi. British Airways followed suit by introducing its additional flight during day time.

German carrier Lufthansa now also operates day time flights to Munich out of Delhi and Mumbai, apart from its night services to Frankfurt.

Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have also launched new morning flights out of Delhi, while Cathay Pacific, which now operates two flights, has one each in morning and evening.

Emirates Airlines of the United Arab Emirates has two-day flights out of Mumbai to Dubai, while Sri Lankan Airlines operates twice during the day out of Chennai.

India, a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, has been contending that the night curfew at many European and US airports should be done away with as this practice is unfair to travellers from the developing world, especially those in the East.

New Delhi's argument has been that if flights operate at night in western airports, these will land in India during the day.

The night curfew in the western airports also means that flights could not depart from India in the afternoon or evening.

India even moved a paper in this regard at ICAO, a UN body, almost two years ago.

The government lately started insisting that global carriers, if already operating at night in India and wishing to add new flights, would have to time their arrivals and departures during day.

After liberalisation of the bilateral air traffic agreements and virtual 'open sky' treaties with several countries, including the US, UK and Europe, as also those in the Gulf and Southeast Asia, most major global carriers started introducing day flights to and from India.

Now for the past two-three years, the agreements have also been specifying that most of the new flights should have their time-slots during the day.

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