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Monday, 3 April 2017

Latest Air Services Agreement will bring the number of seats approved for Malaysia to India a new total of 22,531,

M’sia inks breakthrough air pact with India

Signed and sealed: Liow exchanging documents on the new Air Services Agreement with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swara in New Delhi. Witnessing the exchange are Najib and Modi.
Signed and sealed: Liow exchanging documents on the new Air Services Agreement with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swara in New Delhi. Witnessing the exchange are Najib and Modi.
 
MORE planeloads of passengers from Malaysia will fly into India every week under a new air pact, the first to be signed between the two countries in half a century.
The latest Air Services Agreement will bring the number of seats approved for Malaysia to a new total of 22,531, up by 1,861 passengers.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the extra seats were approved for the six major cities of Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Hyderabad.
He said the designated airlines from Malaysia would also be allowed to enter into a domestic code-sharing arrangement with India’s airlines.
“With this, we can fly more Malaysians into India and the other way around too.
“This will have a big impact on expanding our tourism potential,” Liow told The Star here yesterday.
He is among the 10 ministers accompanying Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on a six-day visit to India.
The air pact was among the main agreements reached during the bilateral meeting between Najib and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Saturday.
Malaysia has been seeking additional traffic rights to India in a series of talks held between 2010 and last year.
The last air services agreement between the two countries was signed 50 years ago in 1967.
Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo are the local airlines operating services to India from Malaysia.
Liow said the next move was for Malaysia to raise the number of weekly seats to the six Indian cities to 40,436 as well as an extra eight points to the existing 18 secondary cities.
“It is tough negotiating additional air traffic rights with India.
“We are prepared to be liberal with India in line with Asean’s Open Skies policy,” he added.
Under India’s National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, Liow said for countries fully or partly within a 5,000km radius from New Delhi, extra air traffic rights could only be considered if India’s airlines were able to use up at least 80% of their entitlement.
“The present rate of utilisation by India’s airlines to Malaysia is only about 5%. So, the new agreement is a breakthrough for us,” he added.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/03/msia-inks-breakthrough-air-pact-with-india-more-local-flights-there-after-new-agreement/#btwBB5ILG0mdD6vb.99

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