Jet to fly beyond Shanghai, Air India to more Chinese cities

March 20th, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Decks have been finally cleared for Indian carrier Jet Airways to fly to Shanghai and beyond and for Air India to fly to more Chinese cities following a civil aviation pact between the two countries Thursday.
Likewise, Air India, which has been operating to Shanghai, can now look at more Chinese cities, notably Beijing and Guang Zhou, and use them as intermediate points to fly to other destinations like those in the US or Canada.

“It has been agreed that the designated airlines of India may operate beyond China to San Francisco with full fifth freedom traffic rights,” an official statement said after the talks between the two sides.

“The Chinese side shall be allowed to nominate a beyond point in India with full fifth freedom traffic rights, at their discretion at a later date,” the statement added.

The joint secretary in the civil aviation ministry, R.K. Singh, led the Indian side at the talks, while the Chinese delegation was headed by Li Jiang Min, the director general in the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation.

Both sides also agreed that their designated carriers will be allowed to operate via their respective cities to three destinations in third countries - falling under three regions, officials said.

India, for example, has specified the US and Canada as one region, Australia and New Zealand as the second and Asia as the third for the three destinations to which its designated carriers can fly.

China, on the other hand, has specified Africa as the first region, the Middle East as the second and Europe the third for its carriers.

Designated carriers of the two countries can choose no more than two destinations in each region.

“Both sides have also come to an agreement that the designated airlines of each country shall be entitled to exercise beyond fifth freedom traffic rights on not more than 14 frequencies to all the beyond points put together.”

The Chinese delegation has also forwarded to the Indian side the complete set of documents regarding the operation of Great Wall Airlines from Shanghai to Mumbai and Chennai, the statement said.

“The Indian side will forward the documents to the concerned authorities in the Indian government for appropriate action.”

India and China had concluded their previous bilateral pact in 2005 that allowed their carriers to fly 42 times a week. The need to forge a new agreement was necessitated by the growing economic ties between the two countries.

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