India will consider an open sky agreement for flights within 5,000 km: Oman Air
The Dollar Business Bureau
India has plans to have an open sky agreement with the nations, which are within the radius of 5,000 km, said Oman Air Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Gregorowitsch on Thursday.
An open sky agreement refers to an agreement between two nations to allow each other airlines to have an unlimited number of flights, seats, etc between the two countries.
“If the current policy of the Indian Government is to also consider an open sky (agreement) for those destinations which are within 5,000 kilometres materialises, in the next two years, then it will automatically (provide us) a more level environment,” said Gregorowitsch, while briefing a media round table in New Delhi. He was confident that the measure could be put into place by 2020.
Gregorowitsch claimed that he had received information in Oman and that such a decision would be a ‘win-win’ for India as well as for Oman Air, as the airline is planning to include more aircraft and destinations.
However, the move will have to be supported by making available more airports in the country and by allowing military airports for civil use, he added.
According to India’s National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, the country can enter into an agreement for open sky on a mutual basis with the SAARC nations and countries beyond a radius of 5,000-kilometre from New Delhi.
After a bilateral agreement between India and Oman was revised allowing Oman Air to add more seats, the Gulf carrier will now add 5,067 more seats during the summer schedule and 1,821 seats in the winter. The airline has now increased the total number of flights from 128 to 161 per week.
“This has allowed us to move to a total 27,405 seats, while we are allowed to have 28,000 seats between Oman and India,” Gregorowitsch said.
The Airline’s CEO also pointed out the challenges that the carrier faces due to infrastructural shortcomings at Indian airports.
Presently, the air fleet of Oman Air consists of 47 aircrafts, including Boeing 737s, Boeing 787S, Embraer 175s and Airbus 330s.