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UAE keen on open-sky policy with India

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

UAE keen on open-sky policy with India

The United Arab Emirates has said that it is keen to have an open-sky agreement with India.

It asked India to look at Open-sky policy separately from fifth and sixth freedoms (of air).

  • The issue of fifth and sixth freedoms of air has been a sore point between airlines in India and the UAE.

What is Open Sky policy?

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.

  • The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARCnations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.
  • It implies that nations within this distance need to enter into a bilateral agreement and mutually determine the number of flights that their airlines can operate between the two countries.

India has already signed open sky agreements with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka.

Freedoms of air:

International air travel is governed by various freedoms of air.

The degree of “sky openness” depends on the freedoms of the air in the country granted to foreign airlines. There are 9 such freedoms according to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation.


  1. First freedom of air allows a carrier to take off from its home state.
  2. Second freedom of air allows it to land in a second country.
  3. Third and fourth freedoms of air allow the airline to take off from the country it has landed in and come back to land at its home base.
  4. The fifth and sixth freedoms allow airlines to carry passengers picked from one country and fly them to a third country rather than the country from which the airline originated.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is Open Sky policy?
  2. SAARC nations.
  3. Overview of National Civil Aviation policy, 2016.
  4. 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  5. Freedoms of air.

Mains Link:

What is open sky policy? Discuss its significance.

Sources: the Hindu.