Govt to adopt Open Skies on a case-by-case basis – Gavoka
Open Skies Policy would endanger our national airline - Koya

Govt to adopt Open Skies on a case-by-case basis – Gavoka

Open Skies Policy would endanger our national airline - Koya

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 23/05/2024
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka and Opposition MP Faiyaz Koya

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka says the Coalition Government has endorsed the amending of the Civil Aviation Policy to adopt open skies on a case-by-case basis, recognizing both global benefits and regional challenges, however, Opposition MP Faiyaz Koya is urging the government to think twice as this Open Skies Air Services Agreements can be the death of our national airline.

While making his ministerial statement in Parliament, Gavoka says the aviation industry's access to markets worldwide relies heavily on the Air Services Agreement, also known as air transport agreements or bilateral and multilateral air agreements.

He says these contracts between countries set the terms and regulations for international air transport services, and they provide the framework for airlines from the participating countries to offer passenger and cargo services.

He further says Open Skies agreements allow unlimited commercial services by designated airlines without needing explicit ministerial approval for routes, capacity, frequency, and pricing.

The Deputy Prime Minister says sovereignty is preserved, with interventions limited to safety and security and these agreements liberalize and deregulate the international aviation market.

He adds the key features include no route restrictions, unlimited frequency and capacity, and deregulated pricing, where airlines set fares based on market conditions.

While responding to the statement, Opposition MP Faiyaz Koya told Parliament that a year ago, Gavoka had not supported the Open Skies Policy as it would endanger our national airline.

He says the CEO of Fiji Airways had also raised concerns about the Open Skies Agreement in 2018 as it will impact small airlines like Fiji Airways.

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