India,Pak to have more flights, capitals to be connected

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (UNI) For the first time, the capitals of India and Pakistan will have direct air connectivity with the two countries deciding to operate three flights each instead of one earlier.

Chennai and Islamabad will be added as two more destinations and the frequency of flights per week will increase from 12 to 28 from each side.

The decisions were taken at a two-day meeting of the civil aviation authorities of the two countries in Rawalpindi, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today.

The meeting which concluded today, decided to review and upgrade the existing Air Services Agreement between the two countries inview of the developments in the aviation industry during the past few years.

''It was agreed that henceforth each country shall be entitled to designate three airlines each to operate the agreed services on the specified routes,'' the spokesman added.

Against the two destinations presently available to the designated airlines in each other's territory, it was agreed to add Chennai for the designated airlines of Pakistan and Islamabad for the designated aiirlines of India as third destination.

''This also enables direct air connectivity between the capitals of the two countries,'' the spokessman added.

The Indian delegaation at the talks was led by Mr Kanu Gohain, Director General of Civil Aviation, whil the Pakistani side was headed by Maj. Gen. Mir Haider Ali Khan, Additional Secretary in the Defence Ministry.

The two sides also signed aa Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and agreed to meet again in one year to review the capacity and frequency framework and additional destinations in each other's territory.

UNI RB VD KN1828

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