“India and Canada have agreed to step up number of direct flights and to work towards an open skies regime,” India’s high commissioner to Canada Ajay Bisaria tweeted following a meeting between civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Canada’s transport minister Omar Alghabra on Tuesday.
At present Air India and Air Canada operate 29 non-stop flights per week between Canada and Delhi. There are demands to start direct flights between Amritsar and Canada while Mumbai airport too is looking to re-establish connection with Canada. However, the launch of new routes would also depend upon the geo-political environment. In fact, Air Canada is suspending its thrice weekly Vancouver-Delhi service from June because of restrictions on use of Russian airspace.
Apart from the plan to increase air connectivity, the two ministers also discussed furthering technical co-operation in civil aviation. Scindia who is on an official visit to US and Canada has met business leaders, visited manufacturing plants and also articulated India’s efforts on lowering carbon footprint in aviation.
“India is working towards making its airports carbon neutral in the near future so as to emerge as a responsible player in the international civil aviation industry,” Scindia said.
The International Civil Aviation Organiation is working on a long term climate goal for the aviation sector that will come up for negotiations in September. Various countries and aviation bodies such International Air Transport Association and Airports Council International have backed the call for net zero target by 2050.
India on the other hand committed in COP-26 meeting last year to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 and is of the view that de-carbonisation efforts should be equitable for all countries.