The federal cabinet has approved the Air Services Agreement (ASA) between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which would allow more bilateral flights.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the federal cabinet meeting where the proposed Air Services Agreement (ASA) between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was tabled. The ASA was signed in 1972. Article 13 or the ASA permits further consultation for close collaboration and strengthening of air services between the aeronautical authorities of both countries.
According to sources, a Pakistani delegation visited Saudi Arabia on June 15 and 16, 2015. During the course of the discussions a revived draft ASA was initiated and exchanged, as the existing ASA between the two countries was not catering to the needs of air connectivity due to various developments in the international aviation sector.
Board of Investment (BoI) on December 5, 2019, conveyed that the next Summit meeting of the Saudi Supreme Coordination Council has been scheduled in the first quarter of 2020 and the Prime Minister has indicated his intention to co-chair the meeting. The Saudi embassy in Islamabad has the agenda of the meeting.
An agenda item includes urging the Pakistan side to sign bilateral air services agreement between the two countries where they have already been marked by both sides; the Convention regulates the rights of transport and bases of air operation and allows the designation of more than one carrier per party.
The source said necessary consultations were earlier made with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Law and Justice Division, Ministry of Interior, Finance Division, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Defence. The reservations/comments of the stakeholders were also discussed and addressed in a meeting chaired by the then Secretary Aviation on February 28, 2018.