Mumbai: India and 35 interested nations will start a fresh round of talks to negotiate additional air services from this country to, and from, foreign destinations. The negotiations for air traffic rights will be held here tomorrow at the International Civil Aviation Negotiations Conference.
The event is due to be inaugurated by president Pratibha Patil.
Minister for civil aviation, Vayalar Ravi, and two recent, former ministers -Praful Patel and Rajiv Pratap Rudy -are also invited guests along with top officials from airlines and airports.
The meeting, and the prospects for fresh negotiations, comes on the back of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAGI) criticising the government for ''liberally granting'' air traffic rights to foreign carriers from the Gulf and failing to protect the interests of flag carrier Air India.
According to industry sources, private Indian carriers are seeking approval to expand international operations even as Indian airport operators are pushing the government to allow more foreign services.
As per CAG observations, whilst foreign airlines are utilising almost two-thirds of their entitlements to operate to India destinations under bilateral air traffic agreements, Indian carriers were able to utilise a mere 25 per cent.