Thursday, July 24, 2008

India-EU have open skies agreement

Good news for both EU member states and India. 30% of India's international traffic is towards EU countries like UK, Germany, France. 40% is towards Gulf. With a potentially higher traffic and foreseeing a better inflow of European tourists into India, Govt today decided to sign the open-skies agreement.

By this: Air India, Deccan-Kingfisher, Jet Lite, Jet Airways can fly unrestricted number of flights to UK, Germany and France. Even if agreement with one of the member nations fail, it can continue to do with others. This is a really good news as now there is a win-win situation to people and companies in both regions. There are lots of software engineers who fly to Europe and open skies agreement means more options and higher frequency.

Here's the article

Some parts are pasted below:

The proposed horizontal aviation agreement between the two sides provides far more flexibility than the air service arrangements being pursued by India with individual EU members. The liberal aviation pact between the two of the world’s largest trading partners is expected to be signed in September when prime minister Manmohan Singh visits France to participate in the India-EU summit.

“Germany and the UK have already agreed to the terms of the proposed agreement. We are expected to negotiate with other member states as well shortly. The agreement is expected to be signed during the PM’s visit to France in September this year,” a civil aviation ministry official said. The EU has similar agreements with China and the US. Currently, 26 bilateral air services agreements exist between EU members and India.

The proposed pact between the sides would remove nationality restrictions (from the EU side) in the bilateral air services agreements between EU members and India. This would allow any designated airline from the member states and India to operate flights to each other’s side where a bilateral agreement with India exists and traffic rights are available

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