The UK and India have agreed to ease restrictions on the number of flights between the two countries.

Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped.

This will enable a greater range of flights while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India.

The move, following government talks in India this week, is designed to boost tourism and trade.

About 2.5 million passengers fly direct between the UK and India each year, with 88 scheduled services a week running in each direction.

The agreement signed yesterday is expected to open up more routes.

India is a rapidly expanding and important market for aviation and the agreement will allow airlines to develop new services and routes, according to the Department for Transport.

There were 422,000 visits from India to the UK in 2015, worth more than £433 million to the economy.

Aviation minister Lord Ahmad said: “India is one of our closest allies and key trading partners and this new agreement will only serve to strengthen this crucial relationship.

“We are unlocking new trade and tourism opportunities which will boost our economies, create new jobs and open up new business links.

“This is great news for both the UK and India and is yet another sign that we are open for business and ready to build and strengthen our trade links.”

Indian civil aviation minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju said: “The increase in number of flights between the UK and India is encouraging news for our businesses and tourists.

“We already enjoy strong ties with the UK and we welcome such continued association which in the long run will not only encourage business activity, but also people-to-people contact.

“I am sure that this agreement will bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of our two countries.”