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PM inducts AI's new planes for long-haul flights, cargo operations

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, July 28 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today inducted five of the 111 new planes being acquired by Air India (AI) and Indian for long-haul flights and cargo operations.

''The opening up of skies (liberal air services agreements) has created new market opportunities. New management styles, better service quality and focused customer care are the most valuable elements of aviation business, he told a gathering of airline officials at the Palam Air Force Station here.

Two days ago, the flagship carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200LR (long range) Worldliner. AI will be the first India-based operator to offer direct, non-stop flights from Mumbai to New York's John F Kennedy International Airport starting August 1.

Due to shortage of aircraft, Indian carriers could not take full advantage of opportunities in air transportation sector. ''Our government has taken decisive steps to address this problem,'' said the Prime Minister.

''With acquisition of new aircraft, our national carriers will be better placed to take on competition and abroad. I understand the aircraft presently on order will match up to the airlines' requirements in domestic, regional and long-haul international sectors.'' Cargo is another area with tremendous growth potential, said Mr Singh. ''In a globalised and increasingly integrated business environment, efficient aviation logistics of adequate scale are a crucial element of worldwide supply chain network of business corporations.'' Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said xxx Editors: pick up para 5 of DC 7 Aviation lead Air India xxx UNI

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