India and UK sign deal to ease restrictions on flights

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Feb 10, 2017: India and the UK have signed a MoU to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries, following successful talks in India this week.

Passengers will now have a choice of greater range of flights as limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped. This in turn will give boost to trade and tourism for both the countries.

Building new links with important trading partners is a key part of the government’s plans for a Global Britain, opening up new export markets and creating jobs and economic growth.

The agreement also opened all destinations in the UK for Indian carriers for code share flights, and reciprocally the UK carriers can also operate code share flights to any International Airport in India, through domestic code share arrangements.

The agreement was formally signed by Minister of Civil Aviation, Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, on behalf of India and Lord Ahmad of UK during a visit to India where he led a delegation of British companies for the 2017 CAPA India Aviation Summit. 

Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Indian Civil Aviation Minister, said, “The increase in number of flights between the UK and India is encouraging news for our businesses and tourists. We already enjoy strong ties with the UK and we welcome such continued association which in the long run will not only encourage business activity, but also people-to-people contact. I am sure that this agreement will bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of our two countries.”

Tourism from India makes an important contribution to the UK economy. In 2015, there were 422,000 visits from India to the UK, bringing more than £433 million to the economy.

Lord Ahmad, Aviation Minister of UK, said, “India is one of our closest allies and key trading partners and this new agreement will only serve to strengthen this crucial relationship. We are unlocking new trade and tourism opportunities which will boost our economies, create new jobs and open up new business links. This is great news for both the UK and India and is yet another sign that we are open for business and ready to build and strengthen our trade links.”

India is a rapidly expanding and important market for aviation and the agreement signed will allow airlines to develop new services and air routes.

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