India, Japan sign open sky agreement

Unlimited number of flights can run between both countries

Aviation

September 15, 2017

/ By / New Delhi



india-japan

In line with the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, and post the signing of the open sky agreement, India and Japan will now have better connectivity with prospects of reduced air fares in future.

Following the signing of an agreement, India and Japan can now run unlimited number of flights between both countries.

According to an official release, India and Japan exchanged a Record of Discussions (RoD) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky.

“It opens skies between India and Japan i.e. Indian and Japanese carriers can mount now unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries,” states the release.

As per the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, India can enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations and countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from the Indian capital, New Delhi.  The policy is restrictive for countries within this radius.

The policy also mandates 80 pc utilisation of bilateral seat rights by Indian carriers to trigger any further increase in flying rights.

Flights covered under the agreement can land in six metro airports in India at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Presently,  Air India and Jet Airways fly to Japan from India, and Japanese carriers  All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines fly in.

This isn’t a first for India for having an open sky agreement  with a country. Last year, it signed agreements with Jamaica, Greece, Guyana, Finland, Czech Republic, Spain and Sri Lanka. India also has open sky agreements with the US , which it had signed in 2005. Talks are on also with Bangladesh and Nepal, but they have not committed themselves yet.

Recently, full service carrier Vistara announced that it plans to enter into a code share partnership with Japan Airlines by next year. The airlines is venturing into the international market and has Japan in its radar.

According to a popular travel portal, the open sky agreement between India and Japan might also bring down airfares between the two countries.

“The agreement will not only encourage connectivity and passenger travel between the two countries, but will also result in reduction in airfares on these routes,” the travel portal’s COO was quoted by an Indian daily.

“With open skies, Japanese airlines can add as many flights, depending on availability of slots, at six major airports in the country: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Our carriers can also have no restriction on adding flights to Japanese destinations,” an official from the aviation ministry was quoted saying.

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