Home AUTO India Signs Air Service Agreements with 116 Countries

India Signs Air Service Agreements with 116 Countries

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Last Updated: August 04, 2022, 18:32 IST

The international airfare could see a dip (File photo/News18)

India signs air service agreements with 116 countries which might result into reduction in international air fares

The Indian government has activated bilateral air service agreements (ASA) with 116 countries to increase and expand flight connectivity base in the country. The bilateral air service agreement will provide a different degree of freedom of air, a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country’s airlines the privilege to enter another country’s airspace. In a written reply to a question by the Rajya Sabha on August 1, Gen (Retd) VK Singh, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said the focus was also on allowing foreign carriers to operate in India with more flights to the country’s metropolitan cities.

“India has signed bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) with 116 foreign countries. Any designated foreign airline can operate to/from a point in India if it is designated as a point of call in the bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) signed between India and the country which has designated the airline,” he wrote.

Under the ambit of bilateral ASAs concluded by India with foreign countries, the Indian designated carriers are free to mount scheduled operations to and from any international airport including the Kannur International Airport in Kerala. The 116 countries with which India has signed a pact for bilateral ASA, range from those in Asia and the Middle East to those in Europe and South America.

The government’s move was welcomed by many aviation industry experts who believed that it could be pivotal in bringing airfares down. “It is good to have bilateral air service agreements with countries to increase seat capacity and have an open sky policy for foreign carriers as it will benefit passengers,” Anju Wariah, Director- Group Business Development at STIC Travel Group told news agency ANI.

However, the government presently has not granted any non-metro airport as a new point of call to any foreign carrier for the purpose of operating passenger services due to significant imbalances in the number of points of call in favour of the foreign carriers.

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