An important meeting between Nepal and India to review the bilateral air agreement scheduled for this week has been postponed. The Indian civil aviation secretary postponed it for 'unavoidable reasons' till January. "We want to discuss revision of the agreement to increase flight frequency, air seats and new points," said Yagya Gautam, joint secretary at Nepal's Civil Aviation Ministry. Nepal and India allow each country's carriers to fly 6,000 seats a week but it needs to be increased because of demand. "The air services agreement has to be revised," says Nagendra Ghimire, director general at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
Apart from their state-run airlines, private carriers from Nepal and India this year launched their services. Cosmic Air has begun flying to Indian cities and India's Jet Air and Sahara Airways are flying between New Delhi and Kathmandu. Nepal had planned to request additional destinations like Goa, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bodhgaya. "We will be signing a MoU when the meeting is held," Gautam told us. Other issues are fifth freedom rights as well as streamlining air routes between India and Nepal.