UK and Malaysia reach open-skies deal

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The UK and Malaysia have signed an open-skies agreement paving the way for unrestricted commercial air services between the two countries.

The agreement comes into force on 27 October, removing the limit of 24 services per week.

The deal will also relax fifth-freedom restrictions on flights operating to onward destinations beyond the UK and Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is the only airline operating between the two countries, with a twice-daily Airbus A380 service between London Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur.

UK aviation minister Simon Burns describes the deal as one the "most liberal" of its kind worldwide, while Simon Featherstone of the British High Commission to Malaysia says it will aid the two countries' objective of doubling bilateral trade to £8 billion ($12 billion) by 2016.