Sunday, September 17, 2017

Air India services to help boost India-Denmark ties

Copenhagen: Air India starting direct flight to the Danish capital will help boost business and trade ties between the two countries, India’s Ambassador designate to Denmark Ajit Gupte said. The national carrier’s inaugural flight from New Delhi to the city, carrying more than 200 people, landed yesterday. It was operated by an all-women crew, with commander Rupali Waghmare describing the flight as “very exciting”. In the words of Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal, the flight — which would be operated thrice a week — is connecting the “Mermaid with the Maharaja”.
“The bilateral ties between India and Denmark were affected to a large extent by the Kim Davy issue. There has not been much of progress in the last few years. So this (Air India flight) is a very important positive step towards normalising. It is a very important move,” Gupte told reporters here on Saturday. However, he quickly added: “See I don’t want to link the flights with the ties. It is a very positive step which will encourage the movement of people.”
In January this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Denmark to extend full support in the extradition of Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy, taking into account India’s “sensitivities”. India has sought extradition of Niels Holck aka Kim Davy, an accused in the 21-year-old Purulia arms drop case. Gupte also said direct flight service would help with the economic and people to people ties between the two countries.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a function to mark the landing of the Air India flight at the airport here. When asked whether he sees more growth in bilateral trade, Gupte replied in the affirmative. “As the investments grow, as the two way flow of businessmen increases and there is a signal that is sent out that relations have normalised, we expect trade also to expand… It was around $2.8 billion (in 2016) now and lets see if we can cross $3 billion,” he added.
17/09/17 PTI/Financial Express