India, Lanka to review air services next month | india | Hindustan Times
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India, Lanka to review air services next month

The decision to upgrade air connectivity emerged during a meeting between Praful Patel and his Lankan counterpart Samaraweera.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 15:31 IST

India and Sri Lanka will negotiate enhancement of air services agreement next month, the government said on Monday.

The decision to upgrade air connectivity emerged during a meeting between Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera.

Both leaders spoke of enhancing connectivity, exploring possibility of more cooperation, opening up of new points for designated Sri Lankan carriers and increasing cargo flights to India.

India has a liberal air services agreement with all SAARC countries but Sri Lanka has utilised it to the maximum. Sri Lanka is also one of the largest foreign carriers coming into India.

The bilateral air services agreement was last reviewed four years ago. As of now, the designated airlines for India to Sri Lanka are Air India, Indian, Jet Airways and Air Sahara.

For the island nation, it is SriLankan carrier that has daily services to six metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Besides, it has unlimited access to 18 more tourist gateways in India with the minimum of 67 services per week.

The points of call other than the six metros are Patna, Lucknow, Guwahati, Gaya, Varanasi, Bhubneshwar, Khajuraho, Aurangabad, Goa, Jaipur, Port Blair, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Amritsar, Vizag, Ahmedabad and Trichy.