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India, Canada discuss expansion of air services pact

India and Canada have discussed the expansion of the bilateral air service agreement that will allow more flights between the two countries.

Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is on a nine-day visit to the US and Canada, met Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

“I personally thanked my counterpart for India’s help in repatriating Canadians stuck in India in the beginning of the pandemic,” Alghabra stated on Twitter after the meeting. Alghabra said he had a productive meeting with Scindia regarding issues of mutual importance to Canada and India.
“We spoke about expanding the Air Transport Agreement that will allow more flights between the two countries,” he mentioned. He said he was looking forward to more conversations to open up travel between the two countries, including flights to Amritsar.

For the airlines of a particular country to operate international flights to another country, the two sides have to negotiate and sign a “bilateral air service agreement”, which decides how many flights per week can be allowed from one country to the other. Once such an agreement is signed, each country is free to allocate the bilateral rights to its respective airlines. Even after such flying rights are allocated to an airline, it must have slots at both airports in order to start flight operations.

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