The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of a bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) with Greece.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 February 2017 in New Delhi.
The essential features of the ASA are -
• Under the agreement, both the countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.
• 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.
• The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate on specified routes.
• As per the Route Schedule, the Indian carriers can operate to Athens, Thessaloniki, HerakIion and any 3 points to be specified later in Greece from points in India.
• The carriers of Greece can establish direct operation to 6 metros - New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai.
• Any points shall be available as ‘intermediate’ as well as ‘beyond point’ destinations for the designated carriers of India as well as the designated carriers of Greece.
How the ASA is beneficial to India & Greece
• The agreement has the potential to boost trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between India and Greece.
• It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity between various destinations in both the countries.
• The agreement will provide commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.
• At present there is no Air Service Agreement between India and Greece.
• To fill this vacuum, the delegations of two sides met in New Delhi for two days in September 2016 and finalized the text of the Air Service Agreement.
• The agreement has been prepared keeping in view the latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) template.
When: 22 February 2017