NEW DELHI: The other Asian economic tiger, India, will today (Tuesday) move closer to Europe with the signing of a horizontal air transport agreement with the European Union.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh will meet today with EU officials in Marseilles to ink a deal that enables European carriers to operate to India from anywhere in the continent. 

It is arguably the most significant liberalisation yet of the numerous European national airline cartels. It will, for example, permit Lufthansa to fly to India from London; or British Airways to schedule flights from Berlin to the subcontinent. 

According to an Indian government official, Europe is to be treated as one market: "Bilateral agreements are with European nations that allow for a number of flights between that place and India owned by citizens of those countries."

"Once the agreement is signed, existing clauses such as that which allows a British-owned airline to operate flights to India from Britain alone will go."

Data sourced from The Times of India; additional content by WARC staff