DELHI: India will hold bilateral talks with Nepal to to allow unlimited flight services with SAARC countries as part of its new civil aviation policy.
India has plans to enter into ‘open sky’ air service agreements (ASA) with SAARC countries and with countries beyond the 5,000-km radius from Delhi under the new National Civil Aviation Policy. Recently, it inked a MoU with Greece allowing airlines from the country to operate unlimited flights to six Indian metropolitan airports.
Besides Nepal, India will also hold bilateral negotiations to open up the skies with two European countries — Netherlands and Sweden.
“Nepal has agreed to hold bilateral talks with us,” Civil Aviation secretary R.N. Choubey told The Hindu. “As a part of our new civil aviation policy, the Centre had written to all countries with which India has a bilateral air services agreement informing them about the plans to open up our skies,” he said.
Currently, airlines from India and Nepal can operate 30,000 seats each. They are nowhere near utilising this seat quota though. Airlines from Nepal have used only 8% of the seats while Indian airlines did 23% as of June this year.