India signs open skies agreement with 6 countries during ICAN 2016

India has signed Open Skies agreement with Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka, allowing unlimited number of flights to six metro airports in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.

The new arrangement entered into at the International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) - 2016 held recently in Nassau from 5 to 9 December 2016, will encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and these countries.

India held negotiations with 17 countries and signed memoranda of understanding with 12 countries at ICAN-2016.

India also renegotiated air traffic rights with several countries, including Oman, Saudi Arabia and Ghana, increasing inter-country air passenger capacity entitlements and increasing flight frequencies.

India renegotiated air traffic rights with Oman, increasing its entitlements with 6,258 seats effective from Summer 2017 as the existing entitlements were nearly exhausted. The points of call remained unchanged.

India has complied with Saudi Arabia to increase the capacity by 8,000 seats per week from IATA season when Indian carrier's utilisation reaches 80 per cent. This was in response to the needs of increasing traffic between the two countries where Indian carriers have been utilising open sky in Damman to mount more flights than the Saudi Arabian side.

Indian also agreed with Ghana to increase the present allocation of 2 frequencies to 7 frequencies per week to encourage connectivity between the two countries.

Open Skies agreement as per NCAP 2016 allows unlimited number of flights to the six metro airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, was signed with six countries - Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka.

Negotiatons at ICAN-2016 also enabled domestic code shares with Czech Republic, Portugal and Malaysia, domestic and international code shares including third country airlines with Guyana, removal of restriction of counting of capacity in case of code share with third country carriers and domestic code share to additional two points to Mauritius, code share with third country carriers and four additional domestic code share points with Saudi Arabia and Spain and code share with third country carriers with Sri Lanka.

The negotiations also helped resolve other issues relating to Air Services Agreement with Ghana, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Hong Kong, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.