India, Iraq modify bilateral air service pact


New Delhi: India and Iraq Tuesday modified a bilateral air service agreement, permitting each to operate up to 12 flights a week to four different destinations in the other’s territory.

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The 1955 agreement was modified following two days of consultations between delegates of the two countries, led by Prashant Sukul, secretary, civil aviation ministry, and Iraq’s Air Traffic Services Director Ali K. Ibrahim.

Following the modification, Indian airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Baghdad, Basrah, Al Najaf and one more point to be specified later, said the ministry.

“Reciprocally the designated airlines of Iraq can operate to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and one more point to be specified later,” the ministry added, pointing out that earlier only one point of call was available for each side.

“Now both sides can designate multiple airlines for operations between the two countries, while earlier only one airline could operate from each side,” said the ministry.

“The designated airlines of each side shall be entitled to operate up to 12 frequencies per week in each direction, with any type of aircraft not exceeding the capacity of 250 seats. Earlier entitlements were restricted to two services per week.”

During the consultations, the two sides agreed that their existing Air Services Agreement (ASA) of 1955 vintage needed to be updated.

“Pending finalisation of a new ASA it was agreed that the existing agreement shall be modified to incorporate more flights and new provisions on on safety, aviation security and cooperative marketing arrangements (code share),” the statement added.

The Iraqi delegation also expressed interest in technical cooperation and training of their personnel in India, said the ministry, adding that it welcomed the proposal and the training module and other issues would be finalised within six months.