India keen on implementing Open Skies policy with UK and the EU

London: India is trying to reach an Open Skies agreement with the United Kingdom, along the lines of a similar agreement that the UK has with the USA. The policy is intended 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 Skies policy with the UK on the pattern of the one with the USA," Ashok Chawla, secretary, ministry of civil aviation, said during an interactive session at the India House in London.

Chawla, who has held talks with his counterparts here, said Britain has pointed out their problems in initiating such a policy with India "because of EU stipulations." He said talks were on also with the EU to overcome the problem.

Chawla pointed out that the number of flights from the UK to India had increased very rapidly over the last three to four years, that is from 27 to 113. Currently, there are 56 weekly flights from India to the UK and 57 flights from the UK to India.

In his interaction with the media, Chawla said that by 2020, India would spend an estimated $ 110 billion on the acquisition of new aircraft and the upgrading of its facilities.