Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Fiji
The Agreement is for updation of the existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries which was signed on 28th January, 1974. The updation is as per latest ICAO template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.
A draft text of Air Service Agreement has been finalized in consultation with Ministry of Law & Justice (Department of Legal Affairs), Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue), Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce and Ministry of Tourism.
The essential features of the Air Services Agreement are as follows:
i. Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.
ii. The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion and sale of air services.
iii. The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes. The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently.
iv. The designated airline will be free to decide tariffs in respect of the agreed services at reasonable levels based on the commercial considerations.
v. The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party and other party.
vi. Apart from the above, the ASA also has the provisions relating to Revocation or Suspension of Operating Authorization, Principles governing operations of agreed services, commercial opportunities, safety related clause etc. that were incorporated in the line of Indian model ASA.
vii. The existing Route Schedule annex to the ASA has also been revised and new points of call have been added for enhanced connectivity. Now Indian carriers can operate to any points in Fiji from points in India whereas the carriers of Fiji can establish direct operation to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in India and by code share with Indian carriers to Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad apart from points given for direct operation. Besides this, Kochi, Varanasi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar may be served through domestic code share operations.