Air Services Agreement Current Affairs - 2020

India-Swiss Air Service Pact to be amended, Cabinet approves signing protocol

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Protocol to amend the Agreement between Swiss Federal Council, the highest executive authority of Swiss Confederation and Government of India related to air services, as well as to exchange diplomatic notes with Switzerland for bringing amendments in air services agreement into force. The protocol will allow more number of airlines to start flight operations between two countries.

The Air Services Agreement decides the number of airlines that can fly between both countries. It also notifies number of destinations in each country to which flight operations can be conducted by other country’s airline.

Key Highlights of Amendments

Under the amendments, multiple airlines would be allowed to conduct operations between India and Switzerland. As of now, only two airlines are permitted.

As per the amendments, the ‘designated airlines’ of each country would be free to decide reasonable tariff without resorting to anti-competitive and predatory behaviour. Also, the designated airline(s) may use aircraft leased from other company or airline(s), but lessor not to exercise the rights it doesn’t have.

However, before a country’s airline can operate international flights, a bilateral air services agreement has to be negotiated for deciding how many total flights/ seats can be allowed from one nation to another, each week.

Significance

Amendments in Air Services Agreement between India and Switzerland will bring it in tune with developments in civil aviation sector and will also provide enabling environment for enhanced as well as seamless connectivity. It will also provide commercial opportunities to carriers of both sides ensuring greater safety and security.

India, Morocco sign revised Air Services Agreement enabling greater connectivity

India and Morocco have signed revised Air Services Agreement between two countries enabling greater air connectivity through modernized agreement. The agreement will enable code sharing with airlines of other party. It will also provide greater freedom in mounting direct flights. In long term this agreement will enable people of each country to travel to other country leading to better economic and cultural ties.

Background

The revised Air Services Agreement is outcome of three meetings of delegation from two countries who had worked towards liberalization of markets between two countries and updating of existing agreement. During these delegation meetings, both countries had cleared legal and technical difficulties and agreed to modern new text for Air Services Agreement. Thereafter, the agreed text of revised Air Services Agreement was approved by respective governments.