Thursday 8 September 2016

India inks open skies pact with Greece

India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greece to allow unlimited number of flights into each other’s countries and also has initiated the air service agreement for open skies. With this, Greece becomes first country with which India has inked an open sky arrangement under its new civil aviation policy. Key facts At present, there are no direct flights between India and Greece.
Passengers have to travel one stop via Turkey or Gulf States to Greece. Till now there was no air services agreement between India and Greece and thus preventing the start of air services between two countries. Under the open skies agreement, airlines from India will be allowed to operate unlimited number of flights to Greece. Similarly airlines carriers from Greek will be granted unlimited traffic rights to six Indian metro cities. Background Under the new civil aviation policy, India plans to enter into ‘open sky’ air service agreements (ASA) with SAARC countries and with countries beyond 5,000 km radius from Delhi. It has facilitated India to sign ASAs with other countries through bilateral negotiations to decide on the number of flights that airlines can fly into each other’s countries. Under the open sky pact, there is no restriction on flights or seats. At present, India has an open sky agreement with the US and a near open sky agreement with the UK. For SAARC and ASEAN countries, India has an open sky agreement with more than a dozen countries.

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