WASA - Explanatory Notes




Identification and Applicability

ICAO Number


Effective Date


ICAO Amendment Number

Amendment Date

Scope of Agreement

Type of Operation


Type of Agreement

Notice Period

Administrative Clauses

Application of Laws

Duties and Taxes Exemptions

User Charges

Aviation Safety & Security .

Amendment & Consultations .


Settlement of Disputes


Grant of Rights

Operational and Commercial Clauses .

Airport related

Commercial Activities

Operational Activities


Fair Opportunities

Capacity Clauses

Capacity Types

Significant Elements Concerning Capacity

Tariff Clauses

Scope of Applicability

Tariff Approval

Tariff Establishment Elements

Special Tariffs


Conditions Applicable to Routes

Terms and Conditions




The WASA online tool replaces the original “Database of the World’s Air Services Agreement” published as ICAO Doc. 9511. The WASA contains texts of bilateral air services agreements and amendments in PDF format. It also includes codified “Summaries of Provisions” of bilateral air services agreements and amendments which are filed with ICAO by its member States as well as non-registered agreements obtained from other sources such as official national websites.


The database has an integrated query function enabling States and other users to identify all the agreements, and their related amendments, which are available in the database, involving one or more countries.

Users can view and print individual agreements and their summaries of provisions, including route exchanges. Additionally users can further narrow down their selection of agreements by applying filters related to one or more of the provisions identified in the summaries. The toll also allows carrying out comparative analyses.


The summaries of provisions presented in this database have no official status as interpretations of the intentions of the parties to the air services agreements or of the contents of those agreements. They merely identify the existence or absence of particular elements or provisions in each agreement. The summaries are therefore not a substitute for the actual wording of the agreement.


When using this database the following should be noted:

a)       the agreements and arrangements concluded by certain States which are no longer in existence are continued to be listed under the names of these former States, i.e. USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia;

b)       some agreements apply to a territory that comes under the jurisdiction of a country or certain amendments to agreements have provisions that apply only to specific points of the route exchange. For example, agreement No. 3630 is an amendment to the agreement between Netherlands and Venezuela and relates to air transportation between Aruba and Venezuela.

The following explanatory notes provide a description of the various elements found in each bilateral air services agreement included in this database. The definitions should be read in conjunction with the definitions provided in ICAO’s “Policy and Guidance Material on the Economic Regulation of Air Transport” (Doc 9587).

The names of countries shown are contracting parties to the summarized bilateral agreement and are the primary means of identification of each agreement.


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Identification and Applicability


ICAO Number

The registration number allocated by ICAO to an agreement in DAGMAR (“Database of Aeronautical Agreements and Arrangements”) when filed and registered with the ICAO in accordance with Article 83 of the Chicago Convention. An agreement with a number of 10,000 and above is not registered with ICAO and has received a number specified exclusively for the WASA database.



Date of the signature of the agreement. For an agreement effected by an exchange of diplomatic notes (with a different date) the note with the latest date is the one which completes the agreement and its date is the agreement date. Coding: DD/MM/YYYY


Effective Date

Date the agreement entered into force as notified to ICAO. In the absence of such notification, the date from which the agreement itself indicates it began to apply, either provisionally (pending ratification or a similar process) or definitively, is considered the effective date. Coding: DD/MM/YYYY



Status of its official registration with ICAO according to Article 83 of the Chicago Convention



Status of the agreement if it has been superseded or become otherwise obsolete. The agreement is still kept in the database for historic analysis and archiving purposes.


ICAO Amendment Number

Registration number of an amendment to the original agreement.


Amendment Date

Usually the date the amendment entered into force as notified to ICAO. If, however, there are two parts to the amendment with different effective dates, or there are multiple amendments with different dates but a single ICAO registration number, then the date entered is the earliest date involved. Coding: DD/MM/YYYY


Scope of Agreement

Determined by the type and number of parties that signed the agreement. It can be bilateral (two signing parties), multilateral (more than two signing parties) or regional (depending on the situation, normally more than two signing parties and/or a group of States as a party).


Type of Operation

Agreements are classified as “scheduled”, “non-scheduled” or “both, scheduled and non-scheduled”.

An agreement on scheduled air services typically covers services open to use by the general public and operated according to a published timetable or with such a regular frequency that it constitutes an easily recognizable series of flights. Any other services fall into the category ‘non-scheduled’.

Agreements covering both scheduled and non-scheduled services will usually be clearly indicated, a brief reference to non-scheduled services in a scheduled service agreement is sufficient to indicate this wider scope of agreement.



Notification by one party to the other of which and how many airline(s) will exercise that party’s rights to operate the agreed services. An agreement may specify single designation (each party may designate one airline) or multiple designations (each party may designate one or more airlines). In the latter case, a party may also designate more than one airline but with restrictions on specific routes.


Type of Agreement

Traditional: Agreement covers all three elements referring to single designation (may include multiple designation), predetermination of capacity and dual approval of tariffs, it is categorized as Traditional.

Full liberalization (includes “open skies”): Agreement contains at least the following liberal elements: unrestricted traffic rights (minimum 3rd , 4th and 5th Freedoms of the Air); multiple designation with no route limitations; free determination of capacity; dual disapproval, country of origin or free pricing tariff regime.

Transitional: Agreement contains at least one or more of the above mentioned liberal elements.

This classification is presented only for the user’s convenience and does not formulate an official definition or categorization of air services agreements.


Notice Period

Time period between the date of a notice of termination of the agreement given by one party to the other and the consequent date of actual termination, assuming the notice is not withdrawn in the interim. Normally it is a fixed period, most often one year. However, in a few cases agreements indicate that termination will not occur at the end of that notice period but at the earlier of two stated subsequent dates. In such cases the notice period entered will not be a fully accurate indicator.

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Administrative Clauses


Application of Laws



Requirement of compliance by the airline(s) of one party with the laws and regulations of the other concerning aircraft operation and navigation and/or the admission and departure of aircraft, passengers, crew and cargo. Some agreements incorporate this provision by referencing to Articles 11 and 13 of the Chicago Convention.


Transit Procedures

Provision for transit passengers, e.g. for simplified control procedures.



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Duties and Taxes Exemptions


Custom Duties

Granting of exemptions for the other party’s designated airline(s) from customs duties or other charges on specified equipment and supplies when carried on board. Can be on the basis of reciprocity, on the basis of the “most favoured nation treatment” principle or merely stated as the granting of an exemption. The obligations assumed by the parties under this type of provision are usually additional to those in Article 24 of the Chicago Convention. Some agreements refer to Article 24 rather than specifying any exemption. In such cases this provision is considered to exist.



Exemption from taxes, usually on the basis of reciprocity, on airline revenues or profits earned in the territory of the other party. The provision may at times be found in the context of a transfer of funds clause. It does not, however, encompass exemption from income taxes on the salaries of airline representatives.


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User Charges



Clause on user charges for airports and air navigation facilities. Some agreements this provision may be incorporated by reference to Article 15 of the Chicago Convention.



Principles to be applied to the imposition of user charges, such as non-discrimination, no preferential treatment and “most favoured nation treatment”. Again, these principles may be incorporated in the agreement by reference to Article 15. A reference to a particular schedule of tariffs is not considered to be a user charge principle.


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Aviation Safety & Security



Agreement contains an undertaking to act in conformity with the provisions of the Tokyo (1963), Hague (1970) and Montreal (1971) Conventions, and/or the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices set out in Annex 17 – Security – Safeguarding International Civil Aviation against Acts of Unlawful Interference. Also includes cooperation in situations involving aviation security, including any bilateral communications or actions taken to prevent, suppress or terminate threats or acts of unlawful interference.



Specific provision for safety, for example, each party may request consultations concerning the safety standards maintained by the other party.


Recognition of Certificates

Recognition by one party of the validity of certificates of airworthiness, certificates of competency and licences issued by the other party. In some agreements this may be incorporated by reference to the Chicago Convention, in most cases by reference to Article 33 and sometimes to Articles 32 and 33.


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Amendment & Consultations



Provision which establishes procedures for the amendment or modification of the agreement. There may be a more formal procedure for the basic text with a more simplified process for altering some aspect of the agreement such as the route exchange. Consultation is likely to be an integral part of the amendment process.



Consultation between the parties, for whatever purposes and following either detailed or unspecified procedures.


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Consumer Protection

Indicates a provision on consumer protection. States have the flexibility to develop consumer protection regimes. ICAO developed a set of high-level, non-binding, non-prescriptive core principles on consumer protection in consultation with States and major industry stakeholders. The core principles were adopted in June 2015 and comprise the elements of the passengers’ rights and clear guidance before, during and after the travel.


Environment Clause

Special aviation environmental clause for parties to take into account the impact of air transport industry on the environment. This clause may set out general support by the parties to support the need to protect the environment by promoting sustainable development and may also include an undertaking to comply with the ICAO SARPs of Annex 16 and/or other ICAO policy and guidance on environmental protection.


Immigration/Travel Documents

Control of travel documents required for entry into or transit through the territory of the other Party as well as procedures relating to treatment of inadmissible persons.


Multilateral Agreements

May require the future modification and conformity of the agreement with any multilateral air services agreement that may be accepted by both parties.



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Settlement of Disputes

While the settlement of disputes in most agreements is usually set out as a two-stage process, the first being consultation followed, if necessary, by arbitration, some agreements make use of a mediation mechanism, a mediator or panel, to resolve disputes in a more efficient and expeditious manner.



Procedure for consultation and/or negotiation between the airlines, the aeronautical authorities or the governments. In some agreements direct negotiations between the parties constitutes the only means of settling disputes.



Provision for an intermediate level between the two stages of consultation and arbitration.



Establishment of an ad hoc tribunal in the event that the consultation process does not resolve the dispute, or the referral of a dispute to ICAO, to its Council or to a tribunal established within ICAO, for advice or decision.


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On Request

The exchange of statistics on request of one party. The exchange of statistics may be mandatory, upon request or required only in cases of disputes over capacity. Might also include requirements for airlines to exchange statistics on request.


At Intervals

Exchange of statistics at specified intervals. Might also include requirements for airlines to exchange statistics at intervals.



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Grant of Rights


1st/2nd Freedom

Many States have exchanged the rights for overflight and technical stops for non-traffic purposes through the International Air Services Transit Agreement (IASTA). Where both partners of air services agreement are also parties to the IASTA, the element is, nevertheless, commonly included in air services agreement. In some cases the exchange is limited to prescribed routes.



1st Freedom : The right to fly over a foreign country (i.e. just usage of the airspace)

  • Example: Airlines flying from Home State to State B, using airspace of State A.
  • In this case, the first freedom must be granted between Home State and State A to allow airlines from the two countries to use each other's airspaces


2nd Freedom : The right to stop for maintenance and refuel at a foreign country on the way to another country (i.e. usage of airport ground handling facilities without any unloading of cargo or passengers in the foreign country)

  • Example: Airlines flying from Home State to State B, using airport in State A as an intermediate stopover for refuel and maintenance
  • In this case, the second freedom must be granted between Home State and State A to allow airlines from the two countries to use each other's airport facilities


3rd/4th Freedom

Grant of the Third and Fourth Freedom rights between each other’s territory, sometimes for a specific route or routes but more generally for all agreed routes.


3rd Freedom : The right to fly from one's country to another (direct routing, straightforward, mostly with the 4th Freedom).


4th Freedom : The right to fly from another' s country back to the home country (direct routing, straightforward, mostly with the 3rd Freedom).


5th Freedom

Grant of Fifth Freedom rights to one party between a point/points in the other party’s territory and intermediate and/or beyond points in third countries on the route(s) granted. Fifth Freedom rights are considered to have not been granted where a route granted to one party names one or more intermediate and/or beyond points in third countries but denies local traffic rights between such point or points and the other party’s territory, or where the general grant of such rights is made subject to subsequent agreement. However, if their use is only made subject to future specification, such as selection of a point or points, such rights are considered to have been granted



5th Freedom : The right to fly between two foreign countries during flights while either originating or ending at one' s home country.

·           For example, Airlines can do a route from Home State to State A to State B; or State B to State A to Home State if and only if State A has granted Home State the right for its carriers to carry load through State A to or from another third country.


6th Freedom

Grant of the Sixth Freedom rights of transporting, via the State of the carrier, traffic moving between two other countries.



6th Freedom : The right to fly between two foreign countries while stopping at one' s own country for non-technical reasons

  • For example, Airlines can carry load from State A to Home State to State B.
  • This is a combination of 3rd freedom rights granted to Home State by State B and 4th freedom rights granted to Home State by State A.


7th Freedom

Grant of the Seventh Freedom rights to one party between a point or points in the other party’s territory and any point or points in third countries with no requirement to include on such operation any point in the territory of the recipient party, i.e. the service need not connect to or be an extension of any service to/from the recipient party of the carrier.



7th Freedom : The right to fly between two foreign countries while not going through one' s own country

  • For example, Airlines carrying load from State A to State B
  • Rights must be granted to Home State by State A and State B



Grant of cabotage traffic rights to one party between two points in the territory of the other party, either on a service which originates or terminates in the home territory or outside the territory of the granting party (also known as the Eighth Freedom or “consecutive cabotage”), or on a “stand‑alone” service performed entirely within the granting party’s territory (also known as Ninth Freedom rights.)



8th Freedom : The right to fly between two domestic points in a foreign country on a flight that originated or ended at the home country.

  • For example, Airlines serving route Home State -> Airport 1 of State A -> Airport 2 of State A or Airport 2 of State A -> Airport 1 of State A -> Home State
  • Rights given by State A to Home State


9th Freedom : The right to fly between two domestic points in a foreign country without passing, starting or ending at the home country.

  • For example, Airlines of Home State serving route Airport 1 of State A -> Airport 2 of State A



Non-scheduled Operations

Provisions may be found among the administrative clauses of the agreement, in the route exchange or in a separate annex, protocol or exchange of notes. They may concern authorization or acceptance of non-scheduled operations, applicable charter worthiness rules, guiding principles or identification of provisions of the agreement which apply to non-scheduled operations. Can cover special provisions for capacity, grant of traffic right or other provisions in the agreement.



All-Cargo Operations

Special provision(s) exist(s) for all-cargo operations, which might be of an administrative nature or be an identification of the provisions of the agreement that apply to all-cargo operations. Can cover special provisions for capacity, grant of traffic right or other provisions in the agreement.



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Operational and Commercial Clauses

Airport related


Ground Handling

Allows a designated airline to perform its own ground handling or, at its option, to select its own ground handling agent in the territory of the other party. Alternatively, the provision might anticipate an agreement on ground handling between the airlines or the parties themselves. Can also be part of a provision on technical maintenance, although a clause on technical maintenance per se, does not necessarily cover ground handling.


Slot Allocation

Specific clause dealing with slot allocations, which may define principles for a slot allocation system (e.g. fair, non-discriminatory and transparent procedures, global compatibility, practicability, sustainability, etc.) and/or may refer to the IATA scheduling mechanism for slot allocation.


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Commercial Activities


Computer Reservation Systems

Access, availability and requirements of computer reservation systems and guidelines for their use may be covered in an agreement.


Currency Conversion and Remittance

Facilitating or ensuring currency conversion and/or remittance of funds by the designated airlines, usually without restrictions. Alternatively, it may refer to separate arrangements in place between the parties and will be coded as existing so long as the objective of facilitating the transfer of funds can be construed from the text.


Establishment of Offices and Airline Representation

Right of a designated airline to establish offices and/or commercial, technical or operational personnel in the territory of the other party. The right of establishment may be implicit, for example where a designated airline is granted the right to sell air transportation directly in the territory of the other party.



Reference to leasing, such as a provision for a designated airline when using a leased aircraft on the agreed services and/or conditions to ensure that such arrangements do not grant traffic rights to airlines of third parties (i.e. to the airline from which the aircraft is leased).


Local Currency Sales

Grants the designated airline of the other party the right to sell air services in the currency of that other party or in a freely convertible currency.


Selling and Marketing

Guidelines for marketing, selling and advertisement of airline services. A clause may also include provisions on the appointment by one airline of the other party’s airline as its sales and marketing agent in the other’s territory.


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Operational Activities


Change of Gauge

Right to change to a smaller aircraft (or more under some agreements) at a point along the route outside the home territory. The usual purpose of the right is to achieve economies of operation. It may be granted for specific stops on particular routes or as a general right applicable at any stop along the agreed routes under certain conditions.


Code-Sharing/Cooperative Arrangements

Cooperative marketing arrangements such as code-sharing. The designated airlines of the parties may enter into arrangements with any other airline whereby services under the agreement on any route or sector of a route may carry the designated airline’s code, in addition to that of the carrier operating the flight, as though those services were its own. The designated airline may be required to have the authority to exercise traffic rights over the whole of the route and the other airline required to have the authority to exercise traffic rights over the sector or route segment. In addition, States may require airlines to provide the necessary information regarding the operator of the code-share flight to passengers.


Code Share with 3rd Parties

Airlines may enter into code sharing agreements with more than one airline for routes/sectors they want to operate, especially, if they are the members of an alliance. In this case, outside regional blocks in which intra-regional traffic is liberalized (and depending on the various air services agreements involved),it might be necessary for the code sharing partners to obtain approval from three separate governments (or even more in the case of multi-stop flights). In addition, States may require airlines to provide the necessary information regarding the operator of the code-share flight to passengers.



Right of access granted by one party for use by a designated airline of the other party to extend, substitute for or supplement air services by use of surface conveyances. States may give their designated airlines the right to use intermodal transportation in conjunction with the international air transport of passengers and cargo accordingly.



State Aids/Subsidies

Specific provision on government subsidies and support, such as a dedicated article on State Aids/Subsidies or provisions on this topic in other articles, such as articles on Fair and Equal Opportunities, Pricing or Competition.


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Nationality Clause

Authorization or permission for a designated airline of the other party to operate may be withheld or refused if certain specified conditions are not met. A usual condition is that substantial ownership and effective control be vested in the designating party or its nationals. However, other conditions, such as compliance with the laws and regulations of the State, may also be specified. The withholding provision is considered to exist even if phrased implicitly, for example where a party agrees to grant the appropriate authorization subject to the substantial ownership and effective control criteria being met.


Community Group

A party would accept a foreign designated airline to operate the agreed services under the condition that substantial ownership and effective control is vested a) in one or more countries that are parties to the agreement or by any one or more of the parties themselves, i.e. a joint operating organization or a multinational carrier created by intergovernmental agreement; or b) in one or more countries that are not necessarily party to the agreement but are within a predefined group with a “community of interest”.




Principle Place of Business

A party’s acceptance of a foreign airline if the carrier is incorporated in the designating party and its principal place of business or permanent residence is also in the designating party, including one incorporated and having its principal place of business in, and effectively controlled by the designating party, which removes the substantial ownership requirement. Some agreements may also refer to the requirement of the airline holding a current Aircraft Operator’s Certificate issued by the aeronautical authority of the other party.


Regulatory control

A party’s acceptance of a foreign airlines in the case that the aeronautical authority of the other party has and maintains the regulatory control over the designated airline.

Revoking Authorization

Revocation of authorization to operate agreed services are often combined with the withholding provision although they are usually drafted in broader terms. Revocation provisions may include alternatives such as suspension or imposition of special conditions or limitations, whenever certain requirements are not met. These requirements may include substantial ownership and effective control, compliance with laws and regulations or maintenance of safety and other operational standards.


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Fair Opportunities

In distinction to the “fair competition” category below, the following provisions are normally included in articles covering other topics, such as capacity, and do normally not constitute a standalone provision themselves.



indicates that each party shall ensure fair and equal opportunity for the designated airlines to operate agreed services.



indicates that each party shall allow fair and equal opportunity for the designated airlines to compete in providing agreed services.


Unfair Practices

deals with the commitment of each party to prevent unfair competitive practices adversely affecting the consumers’ benefit and/or competitive position of the airlines of the other party. In addition, it may include the prevention of unfair or unreasonably discriminatory practices such as with regards to capacity, tariffs and the protection of consumers.


Competition Clause

Inclusion of a special provision on fair competition. Even though a clause on fair competition can often be found in the articles on capacity (based on the wording in the Convention (Article 44 f)) which refers to “fair opportunity to operate international air services”) this item is only indicated if there is an extended clause on fair competition setting out further principles.


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Capacity Clauses

Capacity Types

The capacity clause represents a mutually agreed approach by two governments to a matter of fundamental commercial and operational importance to their designated airlines. Sometimes the classification may not represent the actual arrangements followed by the parties due to confidential memoranda of understanding or exchanges of notes, which are not registered with ICAO or published otherwise. In addition to the provisions of the capacity clause capacity principles or mechanisms can be included in the route exchange, either as capacity criteria or as arrangements in relation to a route or routes.


Bermuda I

Governments set out the capacity principles for the designated airlines to follow but allow each airline the ex post fact review by the governments through their consultation procedure. These principles, concepts and wording of the Bermuda I system of capacity control, as negotiated between the United Kingdom and the United States in 1946, have been adopted widely in bilateral agreements. However, the adoption of Bermuda-type phraseology does not always signify acceptance of the practical application of Bermuda principles; the parties may clearly intend to predetermine capacity. Only those capacity arrangements are classified as Bermuda I which are “purely” Bermuda I in both their format and their functioning.



Allows capacity to be decided by designated airlines free of regulatory control. The parties agree that neither shall unilaterally limit the volume of traffic, frequency, or regularity of service or the aircraft type operated by the designated airlines of the other party, except as may be required for customs, technical, operational, or environmental reasons under uniform conditions consistent with Article 15 of the Chicago Convention. The clause may also commit each party to ensure fair competition.



Capacity be agreed to prior to the commencement of the operation, either by governments or their aeronautical authorities or between their designated airlines subject to government approval. Where the capacity provision is similar to a Bermuda I clause but a separate provision requires consultation on or coordination of capacity or the filing and approval of frequencies or schedules in advance, the reference file classifies it as predetermination. Similarly, an otherwise Bermuda I agreement may state that the aeronautical authorities should jointly determine the practical application of the capacity principles. This implies their focussing on capacity , the essence of predetermination. If the capacity provision is not otherwise clearly one of predetermination or any other defined type, but requires that capacity increases be approved by the relevant authorities, the clause is categorized as predetermination.



This element comprises those agreements where capacity and related provisions cannot be classified as any one of the above three types, e.g. being a hybrid of more than one or not being identifiable as any one of them.



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Significant Elements Concerning Capacity


Capacity Principles

General principles governing capacity. Statements of such principles are standard in Bermuda agreements. For example, the statements may call for fair and equal opportunity to operate (or to compete), for airline capacity to be related to traffic requirements, and for each party and airline to take into consideration the interests of the other party and airline(s). Predetermination clauses often add a reference to equality and mutual benefit or equitable results.


Capacity Control

Formula to control capacity between the territories of the two parties. It is often found in predetermination arrangements and may either be part of the clause itself or included in the route schedule. The formula envisages a specific division of capacity or refers to maximum or minimum frequencies.


Principles (3rd parties)

General principles governing capacity for traffic destined for and coming from third countries at a point or points on the routes specified in the agreement. The best example is the Bermuda I provision of the right to embark and disembark such traffic subject to the general principle that capacity be related to certain enumerated traffic and operational requirements. Another example is giving the carriage of such traffic a subsidiary or supplementary role. It is presumed that whenever such rights are exchanged the principles governing capacity in element A above will also regulate them unless otherwise indicated. However, the existence of principles concerning these rights does not necessarily imply an exchange of routes involving points in third countries.


Capacity Formula (3rd parties)

Formula to control capacity for traffic to and from third countries at a point or points on the routes specified in the agreement. In most cases the division of capacity or frequencies applies to total capacity; however, some agreements have a separate formula for third country traffic.


Excluding Unilateral Control

Excludes unilateral capacity controls. Although normally indicative of a free‑determination arrangement, such principles also exist as reinforcements to Bermuda I regimes.


Cooperation on Capacity

Permits or requires commercial cooperation on matters which could affect capacity. The arrangement is often set in general terms and capacity is merely one of a set of matters that may be covered by an inter-airline arrangement on pooling and joint operations. The authority to negotiate an arrangement may be permissive or mandatory and governmental approval may or may not be required.


Filing Requirement/Approval of Timetables

Requirement to file capacity, frequencies, timetables and/or schedules for governmental approval. This requirement arises most frequently under predetermination and may, with other features, be indicative of its presence, but can also be found under the other types of capacity regimes. It may be part of the capacity clause but is more frequently separate or in the route schedule. This element may include a time period and is considered to exist even if it relates only to increases in capacity.




Capacity Transfer

Provision for transferring scheduled capacity. It applies when one of the parties is unable or unwilling to exercise certain operating rights under the agreement and assigns to the other party or airline the whole or part of its capacity entitlement. It is usually a temporary arrangement conditional on the restitution, at the initiative of the transferring party, of its original rights.


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Tariff Clauses

Tariff clauses in bilateral agreements vary greatly in their coverage, phraseology and degree of detail. The tariff clause, as presented here, has four main sub-headings: scope of applicability, tariff approval , tariff establishment and tariff control process. Within this format the essential elements of the more “traditional” arrangements together with the main new types of tariff arrangements are identified.


Scope of Applicability


Agreed Services

Applicability on the agreed services, which is usually indicated by wording such as “to or from the territory of each contracting party” or “for services covered by this agreement”.


Between Territories

Applicability only between the territories of the contracting parties. Occasionally an agreement with this latter scope of applicability has separate but less extensive arrangements for tariffs involving third parties.


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Tariff Approval

While there are five types of tariff approval regimes, some agreements, however, contain two or more regimes, each of which govern different types of tariffs.


Dual Approval

Dual approval method where approval by the aeronautical authorities may be given expressly or tacitly. This method of “dual” or “double” approval requires the approval by both parties of tariffs or agreements on tariffs before those tariffs can take effect. Express approval is evidenced by the use of “must”, “will” or “shall” and tacit approval is possible, for example, by “may give approval expressly” or by an indication that the tariff will be considered as approved if neither of the parties has notified or expressed disapproval within a defined period.


Dual Disapproval

Under this method of “dual” or “double” disapproval, tariffs become effective unless both aeronautical authorities disapprove them. As with the country of origin and the free pricing methods, the objective is to limit governmental involvement and to increase tariff flexibility for the designated airlines.


Country of Origin

A party may approve or disapprove tariffs only for originations in its own territory.


Free Pricing

Tariffs shall not be subject to the approval of any party. Some agreements may allow parties to require notification of tariffs for informational purposes only.


Zone Pricing

Involves a reference point or points around which various types of tariff control are agreed. The parties agree to approve tariffs falling within a specified range of prices and meeting corresponding conditions, though tariff filing may still be necessary. Outside of the zone, one or a combination of the above mentioned regimes may apply.


Tariff Filing Requirements

Tariffs require the formal filing including the filing period for submission of tariffs, usually a minimum number of days before the proposed date of effectiveness of applicability. Flexibility to change the period is sometimes included.


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Tariff Establishment Elements



Relevant factors governing tariff establishment, for example “characteristics of service”, “commercial considerations in the marketplace”, “cost of operation”, “interests of users”, “preserving and enhancing competition”, “reasonable profits”, and “tariffs of other airlines”.


Initial Mechanism

Airlines have the initial responsibility for the negotiation of tariffs. An arrangement that is usually found in “traditional” tariff mechanisms, it may be explicit or implicit, example where the setting of tariffs is based on the results of rate conferences of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). If, however, the aeronautical authorities are initially charged with determining the tariffs, as is the case in some agreements, this element is not present.


Multilateral Mechanism

Multilateral tariff mechanism or to multilateral consultations at the airline level, and will be likely indicated by a specific reference to IATA (with differing degrees of utilization of that organization’s mechanisms and procedures), to “international rate fixing mechanisms” or to “consultations between the airlines operating over the agreed routes”.


Secondary Mechanism

Secondary tariff establishment mechanism, whereby the aeronautical authorities or contracting parties must negotiate and agree on a tariff if the initial airline mechanism, including the tariff approval process, fails to produce agreement on a tariff. It covers the failure of airline consultations as well as disapproval by one or both authorities.



Settlement of tariff disputes. This may be indicated by a reference in the tariff article to the agreement’s dispute settlement arrangements. However, a separate arbitral dispute mechanism especially for tariffs may also exist. In either case, the arbitral mechanism for tariff disputes would come into effect only in the event of a failure by the aeronautical authorities or contracting parties to reach agreement.


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Special Tariffs



Specific provisions for cargo tariffs. They may have some of the same distinctions made with respect to passenger fares and are determined using similar pricing practices and concepts, but with different terminology.



Non-scheduled tariffs or pricing may be found in the existing tariff provision, where an agreement covers both scheduled and services, or it may be in a separate provision, such as one dealing exclusively with operations. The controls in the latter case are unlikely to be as detailed as the processes applicable to scheduled service tariffs, and may merely be surveillance of prices.


Third Parties

Tariffs on routes involving third countries. It may refer to the need for approval of tariffs charged by the designated airline of one party for carriage between the territory of the other party and the territory of a third party, involving also points other than on agreed services. This element may also cover a provision on “matching” of tariffs whereby each party would allow any designated airline of either party to meet a lower or more competitive tariff for service between either of the parties and a third country.


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A route name appears in column ‘Type” at the left of each route description to indicate the country to which the route was granted. The route name “A” stands for the country named as first party to the agreement; the route name “B” indicates the other party to the agreement.

There are four principal columns under which each route is described: (1) points in Party A, (2) intermediate points, (3) points in Party B and (4) beyond points.

(1)      “Points in Party A” on a route are points in country “A” for the route(s) called “A”, and those in country “B” for route(s) called “B”;

(2)      vice versa, “Points in Party B” are points in country “B” for an “A” designated route and those in country “A” for a “B” designated route;

(3)      Intermediate points are points between Party A and Party B;

(4)      beyond points are those beyond the “Points in Party B”; beyond points may also be indicated in a separate, previous line, when referring to points before “Points in Party A” (i.e. behind points).


A letter “A” through “N” to the immediate right to a point indicates a condition or restriction applicable to that/those points. When such code letter appears under “General Conditions” it indicates a condition or restriction is applicable to the route as a whole.


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Conditions Applicable to Routes

An agreement usually contains route schedules and frequently contains conditions, some in the form of restrictions, which attach to some or all of the agreed routes or to the exercise of rights along those routes. Conditions applicable to routes and rights can take many forms but it is possible to broadly identify and classify a number of frequently used conditions. Only the conditions applicable to a route are shown.


Condition “A” – Allowance for Additional Traffic Point(s)

indicates that traffic point or points additional to those exchanged by the parties are allowed. They may be optional, may have to be nominated or may have to be agreed between the parties. Frequently an agreement will provide that an additional point or points can be chosen or nominated for the agreed routes of one or both parties. It can be applicable to originating, intermediate, destination or beyond points but must concern traffic points and not merely technical stops in order to be included.


Condition “B” – Exemption of Certain Operations or Routes from Restriction

identifies a provision which specifically exempts certain operations from any restrictions. Such a provision may be applicable to all of the agreed routes or rights but is more likely to be directed at a particular aspect or part of the route exchange, for example, a condition which says that flights may be operated on a certain route without any limitations on the type or number of aircraft. An agreement containing a provision in the route schedule exempting operations from any restrictions and classified as “Full liberalization” is indicative of an “open skies” agreement.


Condition “C” – Allowance for Omission of Points with or without Permission

indicates a provision specifying that omission of points along the route by the designated airline is allowed, with or without permission of the other party (although the service must, of course, originate outbound and terminate inbound at a homeland point).


Condition “D” – Time Restrictions on Exercise of Rights Granted

indicates a time restriction on the exercise of some or all of the rights granted, their commencement or termination. The time reference must be specified as a time period, rather than as one action conditional on another action, to be included.


Condition “E” – Restrictions on Designation of Airlines

indicates a reference to designation of airlines. This is most likely to occur where there is multiple of airlines and the route schedule or the text stipulates the number of airlines permitted to operate on particular routes, possibly until a further condition has been met.


Condition “F” – Restrictions As to Number of Points Served on Route

indicates restriction on the number of points which may be served on a route; for example, traffic rights limited to use at “a point” or “two points” among the intermediate, second country or beyond points of a route.


Condition “G” – Limitations on Capacity, Frequency or Scheduling on Particular Route(s)

indicates a limitation on capacity, frequency or scheduling. It is not unusual to find in a route schedule specific limitations or conditions established for capacity, for example, maximum or even minimum frequencies along a particular route.


Condition “H” – Reference to Stopover

indicates a reference to stopover in the text or in the notes to the route exchange which has traffic rights implications, for example the number of hours passengers must stay at a point for their stay to be considered as a stopover.


Condition “I” – Scheduled All-Cargo Routes Only

indicates scheduled all-cargo routes only. When placed in the General Conditions column of the route exchange, this identifies routes established exclusively for all-cargo services


Condition “J” – Non-Scheduled Routes Only

Indicates routes for non-scheduled flights only. When placed in the General Conditions column of the route exchange, this identifies routes established exclusively for non-scheduled services.


Condition “K” – Separate Agreement or Exchange of Diplomatic Notes Concerning the Route Exchange

indicates a reference to a separate agreement or exchange of diplomatic notes concerning the route exchange. The agreement need not specifically state that there is a condition which will be the subject of a separate agreement; it may simply indicate that there is to be a separate agreement on a particular matter. Note that a condition indicating a subsequent exchange of third country rights is not covered here, but under Condition M.


Condition “L” – Geographic Restriction on Exercise of Traffic Rights Within a Country of Region

indicates a geographic restriction within a country or region. This may take a variety of forms. It is frequently used to limit traffic rights in a particular country or geographic area which is named in the route exchange.


Condition “M” – Other Significant Operational or Traffic Conditions/Restrictions

indicates a reference to other operational or traffic conditions and/or restrictions. This final condition is fairly general in nature and is likely to cover a variety of different situations. The main criterion for inclusion is that the condition has an operational or commercial significance for the route exchange. Some examples are nomination of a terminal point, regional “cabotage” (i.e., traffic rights restrictions on operations between certain points in separate countries but considered to be reserved as if the traffic were “cabotage”) and agreement to negotiate later on intermediate or beyond points.


Condition “N” – Code Share Routes

indicates a reference to code-sharing provisions on a certain route. This means that one party grants the other party the right to use a certain route (or parts of a route) in cooperation with (a) code-sharing partner(s).


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