India, China begin aviation talks

March 19th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
(Lead)

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Civil aviation officials of India and China concluded the first round of discussions here Wednesday evening as part of the two-day talks to forge a new bilateral agreement between the two countries. The talks are expected to conclude Thursday and Indian officials hope to thrash out all pending issues by then.

The issues include permission for Air India to increase its frequency to Chinese cities and help for India’s Jet Airways launch its service to Shanghai.

Jet Airways proposes to use Shanghai as its second overseas hub after Brussels, to fly to San Francisco later this year, an official said.

Even as India agreed to allow Great Wall airlines to fly to India, India granted permission to the Chinese airline to fly to Indian cities following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s successful visit to Beijing in January, China has not responded with similar concessions, officials said.

The current bilateral agreement was concluded in 2005, which allows each side to fly 42 times a week with rights to multiple carriers. The need to forge a new pact has also been necessitated by the growing economic ties between the two countries, they said.

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