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Finally! EU and ASEAN Signed The World’s First Bloc-to-Bloc Air Transport Agreement

Finally! EU and ASEAN Signed The World’s First Bloc-to-Bloc Air Transport Agreement

The 28th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting chaired by the Indonesian Minister of Transportation in Bali on Monday (17/10) signed the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement between the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the European Union and its Member States (“ASEAN-EU CATA”). 

The agreement concerns the exchange of traffic rights between the two regions and more comprehensive cooperation on aviation safety and security, air traffic management, consumer protection, as well as social and environmental matters. The agreement will also open up more air transport opportunities and enhance direct connectivity between the two regions, while upgrading rules and standards for concerned flights.

"This first-ever ‘bloc-to-bloc' air transport agreement brings the EU–ASEAN aviation partnership to a new level. It will support the aviation sector's recovery after COVID-19 and restore much-needed connectivity to the benefit of some 1.1 billion people, enabling greater business, trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges. It replaces more than 140 bilateral air services agreements, providing a single set of rules and reducing red tape. It also gives us a new platform to work jointly towards our shared commitment to economically, socially and environmentally sustainable aviation." Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said.

Following the signature of the aviation agreement, all EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from any airport in the EU to all airports in ASEAN States, and vice versa for ASEAN airlines. This will help EU and ASEAN airlines to compete with competitors targeting the lucrative EU-ASEAN market.

Airlines will immediately be able to fly up to 14 weekly passenger services to or from each EU Member State, and any number of cargo services via and beyond the two regions, to any third country (‘fifth freedom traffic rights').

The agreement was signed by Permanent Secretary Singapore, Loh Ngai Seng, Secretary General of the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, Novie Riyanto, European Commission's Director-General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei, Ambassador of Czech, Jaroslav Dolecek, and Secretary General of ASEAN, Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

And witnessed by the ministers and representatives of the delegations of ASEAN member countries, as well as ASEAN dialogue partners such as Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and China.

The agreement starts to apply from today's signature. As a next step, the parties will launch the ratification process in line with their respective procedures to bring the agreement in force.

Source: European Commission, ANTARA News


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