Foreign flying rights up for ethiopia

NEW DELHI: Air traffic on international routes, where Indian carriers do not fly to or have any plans to, is set to get a boost, with the government allowing a 25% increase of foreign flying rights between India and Ethiopia.

“Since Indian carriers do not have plans, Ethiopia’s bilateral entitlements are being raised by 25%, basis the formula suggested by the committee of secretaries,” said an official in the know, who did not want to be identified.

India and Ethiopia allow carriers from both sides to operate 28 services per week between them. While Ethiopian Airlines are using all of it and offer 11,172 seats per week, Indian carriers are neither utilising the bilateral rights currently, nor have any plans to. Under the new agreement, it will be increased to 35 services per week.

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This makes Ethiopia the first beneficiary of the government’s policy to allow flying rights to foreign countries on routes where Indian carriers do not have any plans to launch flights. This policy decision was taken by a committee of secretaries headed by the cabinet secretary, which was constituted to discuss reforms in bilateral air services agreements.

The committee had suggested a formula to select the higher one between a flat increase by 10% of the existing capacity and the average of the growth in the past three years in that particular sector with countries, where utilisation by Indian carriers is 33% or below and Indian carriers do not have plans to launch flights.

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Under new rules, another country that is likely to become eligible for bilateral entitlements is Malaysia, where Indian carriers utilise less than 1,000 seats a week but Malaysian ones have used up all flying rights into India.

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