Home » Economy » India could hold talks with China, Saudi and 7 other countries to expand foreign flying rights

India could hold talks with China, Saudi and 7 other countries to expand foreign flying rights

India may hold “informal talks” with nine countries, including Saudi Arabia and China, to expand bilateral flying foreign rights during the Global Aviation Summit later this month.

As per a report in The Economic Times, the meeting could take place on January 14, a day before the two-day summit would start.

“There are about nine countries with which the government will hold informal talks on bilateral flying rights. Some countries like Qatar have requested to be part of those talks, as the current flying rights quota is almost getting exhausted,” an official told the paper.

Foreign flying rights allows airline operators from both the countries to fly certain number of seats or services between the countries, as per the terms of agreement.

Media reports have suggested that while foreign airlines are pushing for expanding the bilateral agreement, domestic players are against the move as it affects their flying opportunities.

The government had objected to requests by Qatar, Singapore, China and UAE due to domestic airlines complaining of their “international plans” being hit by the move.

“These countries had sought an increase on the grounds that the existing rights on the routes were utilised by Indian carriers as well,” the report said.

Thus, the decision to hold informal talks could be a dampener for domestic airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJetwho are trying to expand their overseas destination.Under the civil aviation policy, flying rights can be increased if domestic carriers “utilise at least 80 percent of the entitlement on those routes”. Presently, Indian carriers have utilised 80 percent flying rights for Singapore, close to 90 percent for Qatar and 100 percent for UAE.

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