Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

The UAE is keen to have an open sky agreement with India.

Significance of the Open Sky Agreement between India and UAE

  • There are more than 1,000 flights a week between India and the UAE operated by the airlines of the two countries under the bilateral Air Service Agreement.
  • There are about 1,068 flights a week between India and the UAE operated by the airlines of the two countries under the bilateral Air Service Agreement.
  • India has Air Service Agreements (ASA) with 109 countries including UAE covering aspects relating to the number of flights, seats, landing points and code-share. But does not allow unlimited number of flights between two countries.
  • Open skies between India and UAE will now allow unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries.

Fifth and Sixth Freedom of Air

  • UAE also mentioned that it does not intend to implement fifth and six freedoms of air, and where the interest of Indian airlines will be threatened by other air carriers.

The Freedom of air was formulated as a result of disagreements over the extent of aviation liberalisation in the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1940s, known as the Chicago Convention.

  1. The fifth freedom of air includes the right to fly between two foreign countries on a flight originating or ending in one’s own country.
  2. The sixth freedom of air includes the right to fly from a foreign country to another while stopping in one’s own country for non-technical reasons.

India’s Open Sky Policy

  • Open Sky Agreements are bilateral agreements that the two countries negotiate to provide rights for airlines to offer international passenger and cargo services. It expands international passenger and cargo flights.
  • The National Civil Aviation Policy (2016) allows the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.

-Source: The Hindu

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