Open Skies for Foreign Airlines in India's Tier-2 Cities
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First we will start with "What does Open Skies Agreement means ?"
The Open Skies agreement seeks minimization of government control of passenger, cargo, and passenger-cargo air transportation and creation of a true free-market for the air travel industry. For more details, please visit this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_skies
As per the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, India has Open Skies agreement with SAARC countries and countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000-kilometre radius from New Delhi. This agreement doesn't cover all the countries. Also may be this agreement will be from 6 Tier-1 cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Our Petition request here is to "Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India" for similar Open Skies Agreement with any Foreign country from India's Tier-2 cities like Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Kozhikode (Calicut), Lucknow, Madurai, Mangaluru, Pune, Surat, Tiruchirappalli, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam etc.
Benefits of Open Skies:
- Increases international passenger travel,
- Provides competitive prices between airlines,
- Creates more jobs,
- Boon for international trade,
- Encourages more international tourism.
The above mentioned Tier-2 cities are ignored for adding more international flights. Reasons are like Indian carriers don't find the routes profitable OR Indian carriers are short of aircrafts OR the airports runway cannot accommodate wide-body aircraft.
Now here if Foreign airlines are ready to start flights from Tier-2 cities then that Tier-2 city is not included in Bilateral seats agreement OR Foreign airlines seat agreements must have got exhausted and not getting renewed as Indian carriers are not utilizing seats.
If Indian carriers are not utilizing seats then is this a issue of people who are traveling? Government should check why they are not utilizing seats and if they can't utilize then allow Foreign carriers to operate.
In the end this Bilateral seats utilizations or not adding the city in Bilaterals we people who are travelers have to suffer. For example we don't get non-stop flights. Then a person from Amritsar has to go Delhi or a person from Pune has to go Mumbai. Sometimes when a domestic flight is delayed then international connecting flights is missed. This all are hurdles for the people who travel which can be eased if non-stop flight are commenced from Tier-2 cities.
In addition please extend all runways of Tier-2 cities if land is available for Code E Wide-Body Aircraft like Airbus A330/A340, A350 and Boeing B777, B787.
My humble request to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Government of India to consider Open Skies Agreement for Foreign Airlines from India's Tier-2 Cities as this will be extremely productive.
Thanking you in advance for your time and consideration.
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