Flying rights: After spat with Russia, its Malaysia's turn

New Delhi: Even as India and Russia backed off from taking their dispute over flying rights to a flash point, another one with Malaysia, which too has been festering for some time (See: Malaysia Airlines sparks row with India over landing rights), maybe headed for a face off with the Indian regulatory agency, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), serving a show-cause notice on Malaysia Airlines. The airline may be banned from operating to India, if domestic carriers Air India and Air Sahara were not allowed to operate from Kuala Lumpur.

New Delhi had nominated these carriers to utilise part of the bilateral rights available to it. Air India Express' parent company Air India, and post their merger Air Sahara's parent company Jet Airways already operate flights to Kuala Lumpur. The action is likely to hit Malaysia Airlines hard as a large number of Indian tourists fly to Malaysia, especially during the peak season summer holidays.

Holiday packages that combine visits to Malaysia, Singapore and Bangkok are also popular, even as a section of the traffic to the US flows through the Kuala Lumpur hub.