Indian Govt green-lights Air Services pact with Guyana

The Government of India at its Union Cabinet, which is chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with the Guyana Government to improve connectivity between the two nations.
According to the statement, this Cabinet decision was made on Wednesday. The Air Services Agreement will come into force after the exchange of diplomatic notes between the two countries confirming that each party has completed the necessary internal procedure for entry into force of this Agreement.
It was noted that the signing of the Air Services Agreement between Guyana and India will enable a framework for the provision of air services between the two countries.
“The new Air Services Agreement between India and the Co-operative Republic of Guyana will provide an enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both sides,” the missive detailed.
Currently, Indians have a sizeable presence in Guyana and are the largest ethnic group – about 40 per cent of the Guyanese population as per the 2012 census. Consequently, it was recognised that there is no Air Services Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana at present.
In view of the growing aviation market and developments such as liberalization of the aviation sector in India, air services agreement has been signed with many countries in order to pave the way for more international air connectivity.
An Air Services Agreement provides the legal framework for air operations between two countries which is based on the principles of sovereignty of nations, nationality of carriers and reciprocity in terms of commercial opportunities for the designated airlines of each side.
India and Guyana are signatories to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). The delegations representing the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana met in Nassau, Bahamas on December 6, 2016, during the ICAO Air Services Negotiations event where both countries had initialled the text of an ASA for scheduled air services between the two countries via a Memorandum of Understanding.
The open skies agreements, according to reports at the time in 2016, will allow an unlimited number of flights to six airports in India: New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. The new arrangement will encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and Guyana.
While there is no imminent direct air connectivity between Guyana and India, the agreement puts in place a legal framework that may provide seamless connectivity to passengers and make possible connectivity between India and Guyana not served by direct flights. The agreement with Guyana will allow international codeshares including third-country airlines with Guyana, and removal of capacity restrictions in case of a codeshare with third-country carriers.
Only earlier this month, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) celebrated its 56th year of membership with the ICAO.
GCAA’s Director General, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field, said that Guyana has steadily moved up the ranks of compliance in accordance with ICAO standards.
At the last audit, the country was adjudged at 77 per cent in compliance with the ICAO, while the global average was around 67 per cent. He noted that in 2022, the country was judged the number one state in relation to safety compliance in the Americas, which include Latin America, South and North America and Caribbean states. Further, the country stood at number two in relation to air-navigation services.
Guyana has already received praise from the ICAO President, who in 2021 remarked that the country was a shining light in the Caribbean and is being used as a template for the region in relation to aviation performance and compliance.