India to join ASEAN

INDIAN airfreight volumes will get a healthy boost next year once the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) concludes an air services agreement with the country.

“Initial discussions at the technical level have already taken place and there is a commitment at the highest level to sign this agreement in [the first quarter of] 2012,” ASEAN deputy secretary-general S Pushpanathan said.

The agreement will facilitate opening up of more point-to-point routes for air services between India and ASEAN countries. Cargo airlines will look to tap into the nation’s booming pharmaceutical and hi-tech industries.

The majority of the flights between India and the ASEAN region are currently to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Once the agreement is inked capacity will expand in the bellies of tourist airlines visiting attractions such as Buddhist sites.

Recently FedEx, DHL and Lufthansa Cargo have been looking to establish ties with the country.

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