PTI government set to revise 1972 air services agreement with Saudi Arabia

The agreement will enhance bilateral cooperation in transportation and air operation bases.

The government of Pakistan is all set to approve the signing of a revised air services agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The deal will strengthen bilateral cooperation among the two friend countries in the areas of transportation and air operation bases.

The agreement is expected to be finalized in the next summit of SCC ( Supreme Coordination Council). The summit will be co-chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.

PM Khan has hinted at co-chairing the summit for the first half of 2020. The cabinet meeting, due on Tuesday, will discuss the renewal of the deal and talk on the other agenda items.

Air services agreement:

The agreement was initially signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in 1972. The goal was to boost bilateral relations between both allies. Article 13 of the agreement allows further ‘consultation for close collaboration and strengthening air services between the two countries.’

The agreement came under discussion again in 2015 when a Saudi delegation visited Pakistan. The delegation discussed the need for an up-gradation of the agreement because it was not catering to the need of air connectivity because the international aviation sector had significantly developed.

The agreement regulates the rights of transportation and air operation bases and allows the designation of more than one carrier.

“The text of ASA (air services agreement) between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was agreed and initiated by both sides in the past. Now, both sides intend to sign a formal agreement. There is no change in the text of the agreement, which is already in operation,” Aviation Division spokesperson said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Both countries look forward to strengthening ties in the aviation sector.

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