Tuesday, September 22, 2020

India Implements Cargo Restrictions For Foreign Carriers

India has amended its Open Sky agreements this week, placing restrictions on foreign cargo airlines operating flights to India. Non-scheduled foreign carriers can now only operate freight services to six major cities in India, with permissions required for others. The move is likely aimed at boosting operations for Indian freight carriers.

The Tribune reported this week that the DGCA, India’s aviation regulator, has amended the 1990 Open Sky agreement for the first time. Under the amended agreement, non-schedule foreign airlines can only operate unrestricted cargo flights to six major airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. To land in any other airport, these carriers will have to request DGCA clearance, which could be denied.

Before this change, foreign carriers could land at any airport which offered customs and immigration services, subject to operational and safety requirements. This amendment comes at a time when the airline freight industry is rapidly growing due to a drop in overall cargo capacity.

Since the original agreement in 1990, India’s non-schedule operators have grown considerably. From 11 operators will 98 planes in 1991, the industry now has 98 operators with 317 planes. However, despite this exponential rise, non-scheduled carriers did not fly any international cargo flights in 2018-2019.

22/09/20 Pranjal Pande/Simple Flying

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