In a move which could give a boost to air passenger traffic between India and Australia, the two countries have formalised an open sky agreement allowing airlines on either side to offer unlimited number of seats to six Indian metros and as many Australian cities.
The decision comes against the backdrop of several Australian airlines and Indian carriers expressing desire to operate between the two countries.
Both IndiGo and Vistara, which are firming up plans for international services, are understood to be eying the Australia market.
According to some reports, India is the eighth-biggest source country for travellers to Australia. At present, the only Indian carrier that operates a direct flight to Sydney is Air India. Tourism Australia has already described India as being "under-served" due to lack of aviation links.
"India and Australia formalised an open sky arrangement that allows airlines of both sides to deploy unlimited seats to six Indian metros and six cities in Australia respectively," said a tweet of the Ministry of Civil Aviation after the finalisation of the agreement.
As per the National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, the open sky agreement allows the government to enter into air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.
India has signed open sky agreements with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. India also has open sky agreement with the US, among other countries.
In September last year, during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India, both the countries had signed an agreement under the open sky policy to operate unlimited number of flights between the two countries.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)