Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Malaysia wants to have more flights into India and add to its destinations there, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
He said Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsia X and Malindo Air presently served 24 Indian cities.
These include Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Jaipur, Port Blair, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Tiruchirappalli.
Liow said that under the present air service agreement between both countries, Malaysia was allocated 20,000 seats per week.
“As we have fully utilised this allocation, we have begun discussions with India to expand the current allocation by an additional 40,000 seats per week,” he said after meeting India’s Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju at the fifth International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation in Hyderabad, India yesterday.
Liow said Malaysia was also eyeing eight new secondary cities such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Pune, Vijayawada, Mangalore, Surat, Chandigarh and Srinagar.
Liow, who represented Asean Transport Ministers at the event, said he also aimed to reach an open skies agreement with India.
“Malaysia is leading the Asean-India air transport agreement negotiations, with the target of reaching an open skies agreement with India,” he said, adding that he also looked forward to the first Asean-India Working Group on Regional Air Services Agreement.
Saying that enhancing connectivity through transportation was a key mandate for his ministry, he added: “India presents tremendous growth potential as the ninth largest civil aviation market worldwide.”
India’s civil aviation market is valued at about US$16bill.
Source: The Star Online