The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017 approved the signing of air services agreement (ASA) between India and Georgia. According to an official press release, the agreement will not only help in establishing air connectivity between the two countries but it will also contribute to the expansion of trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two. The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
The agreement between the two countries is based on the latest International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) template keeping in view of developments in the Civil Aviation sector. The main objective is to improve the air connectivity between the two countries. Until now, there was no such air services agreement between the two nations. ASA is the basic legal framework for any air operation between the two countries.
Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline. Indian carriers would now be able to operate to any point in Georgia from any point in India. Carriers of Georgia would be able to establish a direct operation to six points in India including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa and Hyderabad. The designated carriers of both sides will also be able to serve any intermediate and beyond point through routing flexibility. The designated airlines of both the countries would also be given the right to establish offices in the territory of the other for promotion and sale of air services.
Besides this, the designated airlines of each party will also be allowed to enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of the same party, other party and that of a third party.This will not only facilitate direct connectivity but also connectivity through third country carriers. It will provide viable options for the carriers of both the countries. Further, this development will enable the creation of an environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity. It will also provide great commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.