India proposes resuming air service talks in DecIndia has proposed resuming stalled air service talks with Nepal in the third week of December after Nepali officials abruptly postponed a meeting previously scheduled for October 20.
India has proposed resuming stalled air service talks with Nepal in the third week of December after Nepali officials abruptly postponed a meeting previously scheduled for October 20.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has said that they are ready to restart talks regarding air services between the two countries next month.
Nepal cancelled the previously scheduled meeting citing lack of preparation, and proposed to reschedule it for the third week of November.
“We have received a letter from the Indian side,” said Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint secretary at the ministry and head of the air service agreement division. “A negotiation team will be formed as soon as the tourism minister and secretary return from their foreign trip.”
Nepal has proposed to review the airspace agreement with India to provide more cross-border entry and exit points for airlines. The accord has been gathering dust for years.
The Nepal government has requested India to provide three more air entry points in Janakpur, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj.
The proposal to review the airspace agreement was made with the aim of providing more cross-border entry and exit points for the airlines that would be operating out of the international airports nearing completion in Bhairahawa and Pokhara and the proposed Second International Airport (SIA) in Nijgadh.
Nepal has been working to designate new cross-border airspaces for the last seven years. However, the plan has not been moving ahead due to poor aviation diplomacy. The planned negotiation has been postponed several times before.
The airspace agenda was endorsed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014. The prime ministers of the two countries have directed the concerned authorities to meet within six months to resolve the issue.
A joint communiqué issued by the two sides at the end of the visit said, “The cross-border direct routes will facilitate flights between regional airports in Pokhara and Bhairahawa, and this will save time and money for air travellers and also improve air connectivity between India and Nepal.”
Officials to discuss Open Skies policy
KATHMANDU: India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has formally asked for Nepal’s view on holding talks to adopt an Open Skies policy as part of its new National Civil Aviation Policy that envisions allowing unlimited air traffic rights among all Saarc member countries. India released a national civil aviation policy on June 17 opening up the skies to Saarc countries.
Nepali government officials said that they wanted to hold comprehensive discussions with the stakeholders concerned before starting talks with India. Open Skies refers to bilateral air service agreements for operating unlimited seats by designated airlines of the two countries. Nepal adopted a liberal sky policy in 1992, and since then it has been gradually pursuing an Open Skies policy. (PR)