India signs pact with Japan to boost air connectivity

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India and Japan have signed a pact that will enable unlimited operations of flights between the two countries.

The agreement was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe while having strategic discussions on a wide range of issues.

An official release said India and Japan exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky.

The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.

Currently, Japanese carriers – All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines – fly into India and Air India and Jet Airways operate services to Japan.

Last year India 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.

The open sky agreement between India and Japan is also expected to bring down airfares, according to travel portal Yatra.com.

“The agreement will not only encourage connectivity and passenger travel between the two countries, but will also result in reduction in airfares on these routes,” said Yatra.com’s COO Sharat Dhall.