‘Open Sky’ offer rejected by Nepal

Nepal has rejected the ‘open sky’ offer of India to allow unlimited flights between India and Nepal. Nepal has said it will consider the offer two years later. Under the National Civil Aviation Policy, India will enter into ‘open-sky’ agreements with SAARC countries and with those beyond the 5,000-km radius from Delhi. Currently, Airlines from India and Nepal are permitted to operate 30,000 seats from each side. Under the ‘open-sky’ agreement, no restriction has been placed on number of flights or seats. India’s ‘open sky’ offer comes at the backdrop of Nepal’s recent engagement with China on the road, railways and port connectivity.

Among SAARC countries, India allows unlimited flights from Bangladesh and Maldives at 18 domestic airports, from Sri Lanka at 23 airports, and from Bhutan at all its airports. India does not have any ‘open sky’ agreement with Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan. India already has agreements in place with countries like Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland and Spain allowing airlines to operate unlimited flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

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