London, May 25: India is keen on having an open sky policy with the United Kingdom to keep pace with the burgeoning air travel between the two countries. "On our side we are keen. We would like to have an open sky policy with the UK on the pattern of the one with the US," said Ashok Chawla, Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation at the India House here. Chawla, who held talks with his counterparts here, said Britain has pointed out their problems in having such a policy with India because of EU stipulations. Talks were also on with the EU to overcome the problem, he added.
The Civil Aviation Secretary said in the last three to four years, the number of flights from the UK to India has increased very rapidly from 27 to 113. At present there are 56 weekly flights from India to the UK and 57 flights from the UK to India.Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, India's High Commissioner to the UK, who presided over the interactive session this weekend, said: "Tourism and civil aviation is an area which is almost exploding in India." "Tourism which was number 64 in the priority list of development in the first Five-Year Plan, has now emerged as among the largest creator of jobs in the country and India is literally on the move," Mukherjee said.