Pakistan, India agree to increase air links | india | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan, India agree to increase air links

india Updated: Feb 15, 2008 18:00 IST

Old rivals Pakistan and India agreed on Friday to increase the number of flights and routes between their countries and allow more airlines to operate them, they said.

The agreement was the latest sign of steadily improving ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours, four years after they launched a tentative peace process.

"Both sides expressed satisfaction that the new arrangement would further the objective of facilitating people to people contact, business and trade activities," the two countries said in a statement.

Transport links, as well as other interactions including trade, have for years been limited between the countries, which have fought three wars since 1947 and nearly went to war a fourth time in 2002.

At the moment, only one airline from each country operates between the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Karachi and the Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi.

Aviation officials agreed after two days of talks in Pakistan to add India's Chennai and the Pakistani capital Islamabad as destinations and to increase the number of flights from each side every week to 28 from 12.

Each side can designate three airlines to operate on the agreed routes, they said.

The agreement would enable the countries to link their capitals by air. Up to now, people travelling between the two capitals have had to go via Lahore.