Singapore, Dec 15 India's envoy to Singapore has called for air connectivity between Singapore and India's North-Eastern region to deepen connection between the two countries.
"I hope to see new destinations, especially in the North- East of India. We have always tried to strengthened connectivity by air and sea between India and Singapore," High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf said after launching Jet Airways' Singapore to Bengaluru direct flight last night here.
"India's engagement with this part of the world is growing very rapidly. More and more people are travelling from India to this part of the world for business, pleasure, education and tourism.
"This flight (Singapore-Bengaluru) just does not deepen the connection between India and Singapore, it deepens connection between India and the East. It adds one strong elements to our Act East policy," said Ashraf.
Singapore has 220 flights a week to 15 cities in India, with about two million passengers travelling in both directions and over 3.4 million Indian travellers passing through the Changi International Airport to the region a year. Singapore's ambassador-at-large Gopinath Pillai said, "This new direct flight will further strengthen Jet Airways' position in Singapore and the ASEAN Region.
"It will additionally serve the large Indian expatriate community especially of Tamil origin settled in Singapore, further reinforcing the strong bonds between both nations," said Pillai, also the chairman of the Institute of South Asian Studies, a think-tank at the National University of Singapore. Meanwhile, Jet Airways has an ongoing feasibility studies on new air routes between India and Asia.
"The Mumbai-Shanghai route is being studied very strongly," said Paul Wu, Jet Airways' General Manager for Singapore and Oceania.
"These studies take about six to nine months," he added. Jet Airways carry regional traffic via Singapore through partnerships and co-sharing arrangements with JetStar, Garuda, Qantas, Korean Air and the Philippine Airlines. It serves 67 destinations in India and globally. "Forty per cent of our traffic via Singapore is from Indonesia and Malaysia," Wu said.
On Tuesday, High Commissioner Jawed also launched 'Incredible India' campaign here. Indian cultural, natural reserves and tourist attractions are painted on public transport buses plying through the city- state.