India is understood to have urged Pakistan to modify the bilateral air services agreement for operation of multiple airlines in the sector.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
India is understood to have urged Pakistan to modify the bilateral air services agreement for operation of multiple airlines in the sector. The move is aimed to pave the way for the launch of scheduled operations by private carriers as also to enable them to fly cricket fans to that country. Under the present agreement, the two Governments recognise only Indian Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines for operations of scheduled flights. The modification suggested is aimed at recognising Indian private carriers like Jet Airways and Air Sahara as the designated ones to enable them operate scheduled flights. The sources said the External Affairs Ministry has sent a note to Islamabad in this regard. However, the private carriers could seek permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and its Pakistani counterpart to operate chartered flights for cricket fans. Stating that this would require them to furnish the list of passengers and the purpose of their travel at least a week in advance to the two authorities, the sources said the Pakistani authorities would have to give the final nod for these "non-operational chartered flights". However, sources in the private carriers said they had not received any official communication asking them to apply for operations to Pakistan. When the aviation links between the two countries were resumed in January this year, both sides had agreed to allow operation of large aircraft, like Boeing 747s, to operate. The decision currently benefits only the PIA as Indian Airlines does not have such big aircraft. The bilateral negotiations are to be held in the next few months, the sources said. (PTI)