Nepal-Switzerland Air Pact: Boosting Aviation Connectivity

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Nepal-Switzerland Air Pact
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Nepal and Switzerland's Landmark Air Service Agreement enhances aviation ties, fostering connectivity and trade prospects, totalling to 42 countries.

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Nepal has signed a landmark Air Service Agreement (ASA) with Switzerland outlining civil aviation ties between both nations.

As per Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), the bilateral pact was inked recently between the Government of Nepal and Swiss authorities seeking enhanced air connectivity.

MoCTCA's Civil Aviation Division Chief Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane announced the ASA permits up to 28 passenger flight services weekly, of which 14 are designated for Tribhuvan International Airport in the capital city Kathmandu, while the remaining capacity splits between Pokhara Regional International Airport and the new Gautam Buddha International Airport.

The open arrangement names airlines from both countries eligible to operate agreed flights but allows further carrier additions as demand rises. Crucially, the terms also enable 'third country code sharing' allowing tag-on connections for passengers to access onward global destinations.

This milestone with Switzerland marks Nepal's 42nd nation securing liberal aerial access. Earlier in December, a similar arrangement was signed with Rwanda. Officials say ongoing ASA negotiations include Indonesia and Russia as Nepal seeks tourism and trade connectivity boosts worldwide.

With borders reopened post-pandemic, balanced air service pacts aid aviation growth supporting Nepal's rising inbound visitor goals alongside international logistical links benefitting exports and diaspora connections. As an expanding Himalayan hub straddling major continents, the treaties signal open skies and healthy aviation industry prospects through multi-directional ties cementing the landlocked country firmly within cross-border aerial networks this new decade.

Importance of Bilateral Service Agreement (BASA)

Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) between countries can be important for the following reasons:

  • Stimulate aviation links and connectivity: BASAs make it possible for airlines from the signatory countries to operate flights, providing direct air connectivity and people-to-people links. This facilitates tourism, trade and investment.
  • Provide a regulatory framework: BASAs provide the legal and commercial framework defining airline traffic rights, capacity, routes, airport access and cooperation areas for aviation between the countries. This enables orderly sector growth.
  • National sovereignty over airspace: By signing BASAs on equal and reciprocal terms, countries exercise regulatory independence, sovereignty and economic oversight regarding their airspace usage by foreign operators.
  • Enhance competitiveness: BASAs help bring in new players and choices for consumers through policies aligning airline operations to global standards and competition norms while considering domestic player interests and boosting service quality.
  • Diplomatic value: Being a technical document, BASAs also hold foreign policy significance symbolizing desired closer economic, trade and strategic engagement through deeper air transport relationships. Widening BASA networks hence acquires diplomatic importance.

In summary, bilateral air pacts connect countries, people and economies in a regulated manner benefiting trade, tourism and market access in competitive, fair and symmetric terms catalyzed appropriately by proactive aviation diplomacy worldwide.