India-UK agree to allow more flights to boost tourism and trade

Around 2.5 million passengers directly fly between India and the UK every year.

The Dollar Business Bureau

In order to give a boost to trade and tourism, India and the UK on Thursday agreed for easing limits on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries. Restrictions have been scrapped on flights from major cities of India, including Kolkata and Chennai, allowing for larger number of flights for passengers.

“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,” said UK’s Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.

With around 2.5 million passengers directly flying between the two countries every year, and 88 scheduled services each week in both the direction, this pact will open up new opportunities and routes.

 “The increased number of flights between India and the UK is encouraging news for tourists and businesses of both countries. We already have strong relationship with the UK. We welcome such continuous cooperation which will in the longer term not only boost business activities, but also the people-to-people contact,” said Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister of India. 

The minister said that he is sure that this deal will bring direct as well as indirect benefits to several sectors of the two economies.

As the UK is preparing to exit the 28-member group European Union (EU) after a referendum last June in favour of the Brexit, the country has stressed to build new ties with major trading partners - a crucial part of its plan for a ‘Global Britain’, and to also open up new markets for exports, generating jobs and improving economic growth.

This latest agreement was officially signed by Lord Ahmad during his visit to India this week, where he also led a delegation of UK firms for the CAPA India Aviation Summit 2017.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 10, 2017 12:00 IST