India and Malaysia explore liberalisation of air services

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India and Malaysia have begun talks to liberalise their air services agreement as part of a bid to promote tourism and business links between the countries.

"Now we are quite comfortable with the rights but we have to go forward. There are opportunities in other Indian cities where our airlines can operate," says Malaysian transport minister Kong Cho Ha during a trip to India, according to local media reports.

"At the same time we are here to also invite more Indian airlines to fly to Malaysia, they have not fully utilised their landing rights and in bringing the number of passengers to Malaysia."

Malaysia Airlines flies from Kuala Lumpur to Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai in India. Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia operates flights to Chennai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, Trichy and Kolkata, while its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X flies on the Kuala Lumpur-Mumbai route.

Among the Indian carriers, Jet Airways, Air India and Air India Express operate on the Chennai-Kuala Lumpur sector, while Air India Express also serves the Trichy-Kuala Lumpur route.