India to boost air connectivity with Gulf, African nations

New Delhi

Government today announced increase in weekly seat entitlements on flights to Oman, Kenya and Ethiopia besides measures to boost air services with Scandinavian countries, including Sweden and Denmark.

The decision to enhance seat entitlements and air connectivity with multiple countries comes at a time when the Government is working on ways to boost the domestic aviation market.

Various agreements have been inked with Oman, Kenya, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, during an international aviation conference held in Turkey last month.

With Oman, an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed, which allows additional 5,131 seats to airlines of the two sides.

This would take the total capacity entitlements from 16,018 seats per week to 21,149 seats per week for both sides, according to an official release.

Similarly, the seat entitlements between India and Kenya have been increased “from 14 frequencies to 21 additional frequencies and Hyderabad was allowed as an additional point of call for the designated carriers of Kenya.”

“Domestic code share was agreed to from any four points by both sides. Kenya agreed to grant one additional point, intermediate and beyond point with full 5th freedom rights in Africa to India,” the release said.

Under 5th freedom rights, Indian and Kenyan airlines would be allowed to carry passengers to a third country.

With Ethiopia, an MoU has been put in place to increase capacity entitlements from existing 21 weekly frequencies to 28 frequencies per week for both sides.

“Ethiopia has been allowed to exchange Bangalore in place of Kolkata as a point of call. Three additional domestic code share points exclusively to code share with Air India were granted namely Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune,” it said.

India and Finland have agreed upon domestic code share on five points in the territory of both parties.

“The domestic code share points for the designated airline of Finland are Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata. For the designated airlines of India, these additional points would be specified by India at a later date,” the release said.

According to the release, Sweden has allowed India another new point namely Gothenburg for code share operations.

India has also accepted Norway’s request to bring Norway-India bilateral in line with Horizontal Agreement on receiving a letter to this effect from European Council. more PTI IAS RAM

With Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, MoUs have been signed by India. Under the MoUs, the “provisions namely code share, inter-modal services, routing flexibility and open sky on cargo, which are mandatory requirement of Horizontal Agreement coming into force” have been agreed upon.

Horizontal agreement are to ensure that bilateral air service agreements between European Union member state and a third country are in conformance with EU norms.

At the International Civil Aviation Negotiations in Turkey, Indian delegation held discussions with those from Greece, Serbia, Qatar, European Union, and Brunei Darussalam on expanding air services with them.

“The above negotiations would enhance the international air connectivity from India and would offer the passenger wider choice and seamless connectivity,” the release said.

The conference was attended by 106 countries of the 191 ICAO member nations.

Last month, the government came out with the much-awaited revised draft civil aviation policy which has proposed open sky policy and increased bilaterals subject to certain conditions.

PTI

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