Govt approves new Air Services agreement between India, Iran

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) The Government has approved the signing of a new and more liberalised Air Services Agreement between India and Iran.

The existing one was initialed on June 10, 1980.

The approval was given at the Union Cabinet meeting last evening, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said here today.

The agreement is proposed to be signed during the visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Iran in the coming weekend.

A new agreement was initialed between India and Iran after bilateral talks on April 29-30, which is based on the ICAO template and is in line with India's liberalisation in the air transport sector.

An MoU was also signed during these bilateral air services consultations.

As per the MoU, the capacity entitlements for the designated airlines of each side were enhanced from the existing 14 services per week to 23 services per week.

However, the Iranian designated carriers can operate to/from agreed points of call in India as under: Mumbai-- two services per week Delhi-- seven services per week Cochin-- seven services per week Amritsar-- seven services per week Amritsar has been granted as additional point of call apart from the existing Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin and Bandar Abbas granted to the Indian side apart from Tehran.

The two delegations finalised and initialed the text of a revised Air Services Agreement. The main features of the new agreement are: -- Both countries shall be entitled to designate any number of airlines.

The designated airlines will be free to decide tariffs on reasonable levels.

-- The designated airlines of India may exercise intermediate 5th freedom traffic rights via any two points of their choice on flights operated to/from Tehran and Bandar Abbas, and beyond 5th freedom traffic rights only on flights operated to/from Tehran.

-- An open sky for all-cargo services has been agreed.

The designated airlines of Iran may exercise intermediate 5th freedom traffic rights via any two points of their choice (except points in the Persian Gulf) on flights operated to/from Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin and Amritsar, and beyond 5th freedom traffic rights only on flights operated to/from Mumbai.

Co-operative marketing arrangements have been agreed between the two sides such as code share, block space or any other joint venture arrangement with the designated airlines of the same party or the designated airlines of the other party.

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