European trade body writes to minister on Air India flights

Brussels, Feb 2 (IANS) The Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC) has urged India’s Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati to consider Air India flights to connect different Indian cities with Brussels.

The Brussels-based trade body wrote to Raju after India’s largest private airline, Jet Airways, announced shifting of its scissors-hub operation from Brussels to Amsterdam Schiphol airport for flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Newark and Toronto from March 2016.

Jet Airways was using the Belgian capital as its hub since September 2007, making it the first Indian carrier to have full-scale operation in the European Union capital, EICC secretary general Sunil Prasad said in the letter sent on Monday.

He said the space created by Jet Airways’ shifting to Amsterdam offered India’s national carrier Air India “a unique business opportunity to make Brussels its hub for maximising its European and long-haul connections to Latin America and Africa”.

“There is a great potential for Air India to make Brussels its scissors-hub operation for several other reasons too. With Air India regaining its past glory, pride of place and charm with ‘Maharaja’ hospitality, we believe that connecting to and making Brussels its hub will serve Air India in its long-term strategic business interests in Europe,” Prasad said.

The EICC speaks for multilateral rule-based trading system and improvement in European and Indian competitiveness and is realising its mission through high-level strategic dialogue and debate, he added.

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