Satyendra Pandey is a Managing Partner at aviation service provider AT-TV. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of this publication. Article VIII Revocation of Authorization Each Party reserves the right to refuse or revoke an operating licence or to impose such appropriate conditions as it deems necessary with respect to an operating licence if a designated airline of the other Party fails to comply with the laws and regulations of the first Party. or if, in the opinion of the first Party, that air carrier has not fulfilled the conditions set out in this Agreement. Unless an immediate suspension or the imposition of conditions is essential to prevent further breaches of laws, regulations and administrative provisions, such measures shall be taken only after consultation between the Parties. In the event of action by one Party under this Article, the rights of the other Party under Article XI shall not be affected. One of the first air transport agreements was concluded between the United States and the United Kingdom. It was signed in 1946 and given the name Bermuda Agreement. The agreement established transatlantic routes from which airport and port flights could be operated; determine where these flights might stop; and also defined the fares that could be charged on these routes. Interestingly, most bilateral air transport agreements to date have evolved from the Bermuda Agreement. Today`s bilateral flights include the number of seats that can be carried, the frequency and the agreements an airline can enter into. In the case of India, the oldest were the bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom and the Southeast Asian countries, namely Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Then came a phase in which further bilateral talks were negotiated.
The most curious were the bilateral agreements with the United Arab Emirates. The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to conclude an „Open Sky” air transport agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC countries as well as with countries outside a radius of 5,000 kilometers from New Delhi. „We have 1,068 flights between the UAE and India. More than 50 or 55 percent of Indians traveling outside India use Dubai and Abu Dhabi as transit points,” he said. Article XIII Multilateral Conventions Where a multilateral agreement or an air transport agreement is concluded to which both Parties are a party, this Convention shall be amended to comply with the provisions of this Convention or this Agreement. A recent report suggesting that the government could review bilateral air transport agreements has sparked a storm in aviation circles. This is a bold step that, as expected, has sparked a lot of discussion. There are opinions and agendas on both sides of the argument. Some suggest that the revision of these treaties is a breach of trust and may lead to higher air fares, while others point out that these were negotiated in a way that did not quite benefit India. Curiously, all parties have some truth.
India has signed open skies agreements with the United States, Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka, among others. „We need to look at what we call an open skies policy, rather than having an air transport agreement limited in terms of capacity in terms of the number of seats,” Al Banna said. Bilateral rights are strategic assets of the state and, by revising bilateral air transport agreements, India is finally asserting itself on the world stage. „In this context, the two sides welcomed efforts to accelerate discussions on a balanced agreement that will significantly deepen bilateral economic relations and benefit the economies of both countries.” Joint Task Force was established in 2013 as an important forum to promote economic relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, which was further strengthened by the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two countries in January 2017. India has an open skies policy with SAARC countries and countries outside the 5,000 km radius, which means that countries at this distance must enter into a bilateral agreement and mutually determine the number of flights their airlines can operate between the two countries. The signed SAA allows scheduled flights of any type of service (passenger or cargo) between the two states. The agreement was signed by H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) – pictured right – and H.E.
Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Co-Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation. Al Suwaidi stressed the importance of the agreement, which he said will further boost travel and trade between the UAE and India. Al Suwaidi said the GCAA continues to explore new horizons for reciprocal air transport agreements to promote local UAE airlines and boost the local economy and tourism industry. The SAAs are in line with the instructions of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to improve international cooperation through air transport. The UAE now has air transport agreements with more than 164 countries, 122 of which are open skies or completely liberal agreements. Unusually, the Indian deal had to be addressed by the prime minister and his cabinet because the bilateral deal was mistaken for a stake in the UAE`s national airline, Etihad, in the popular but financially troubled Jet Airways, which included additional capacity between Abu Dhabi and India. who had demanded that the government reconsider the decision and freeze the agreement, citing in particular negative effects on the operations of Indian airlines and airport operators. The prime minister had put the case on hold and ordered that it be referred to the Cabinet for decision „in the interest of wider consultations and greater transparency”. The move is welcomed by the UAE`s four major airlines.
At the CAPA World Aviation SUMMIT in November, Sir Tim Clark, chairman of Emirates, said the Indian market has many similarities with China in terms of potential. But, he said, the market has remained relatively repressed since a series of liberalization measures allowed foreign airlines to increase capacity in 2004, adding that foreign airlines are now indirectly held back by domestic policy. „Today, an A380 is not allowed to serve Delhi or Mumbai airports. Delhi was built as one of the most advanced airports in Asia, but they allowed it. Much of what will happen to India`s future is in the hands of its government. They must be able to cope with pressure from multiple stakeholders in the political landscape as well as in the business community. They must recognize that air travel is crucial to the growth of the economy, which still has enormous potential. Clark said Emirates has offered 54,000 seats per route on 185 flights a week to 10 Indian destinations since 2004. .