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Union Cabinet approves Air Services Agreement between India and Greece

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece.

At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations both countries in September 2016 had finalized the text of ASA. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation

Key features of ASA
  • Under this agreement, both countries will be entitled to designate one or more airline.
  • The designated airlines of either country will have right to establish offices for the promotion end sale of air services in the territory of the other country.
  • The designated airlines of both countries will have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.
  • The designated Airline can also enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and third country.
  • As per the Route Schedule, Indian carriers can operate to Athens, HerakIion, Thessaloniki and any 3 points to be specified later in Greece from points in India.
  • Whereas the carriers from Greece can establish direct operation to 6 metros viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. 
Comment

The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the both countries in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector. Besides, it will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity. It will also provide commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides by ensuring greater safety and security.

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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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