Friday, December 22, 2006

Open Skies agreement: India, US both stand to gain

New Delhi: Ronen Sen, India’s Ambassador to the United States, maintained that all the recent multi-faceted initiatives which have taken India-US relations to a new, higher plane have been based on the principle of mutual benefit.
Sen dwelt upon the employment-intensive aviation sector, poised to dramatically take off after the two countries signed the Open Skies agreement in 2005. Three major US carriers -- Continental, American and Delta -- now operate non-stop flights to India, while Jet Airways is set to begin non-stop operations to the US from August 2007. Air India will also increase the number of flights it operates to cities in the US.
Increased air traffic between the two countries will have multiple spin-offs in the form of employment potential in the tourism, hotel and services sectors, Sen said.
"The focus is now on our air cargo sector, since India is a very expensive destination," he said. "The goal of the next phase of engagement in the air cargo sector is to improve efficiency and reduce costs."
21/12/06 Nilova Roy Chaudhury/Hindustan Times
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