The European Union and the State of Qatar on Monday signed a comprehensive air transport agreement, upgrading rules and standards for flights between Qatar and the EU.
According to the European Commission, the agreement sets a new global benchmark by providing a single set of rules for air services; by committing both sides to fair competition; and by including social and environmental protection.
“This agreement will bring new opportunities, more choice and higher standards for passengers, industry and aviation workers,” European Commissioner Adina Vălean, responsible for mobility and transport, said.
The EU-Qatar agreement is expected to result in new air transport opportunities and economic benefits for both sides:
– All EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from any airport in the EU to Qatar and vice versa for Qatari airlines.
– EU airports in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands will be subject to a gradual build-up of capacity until 2024.
– Strong provisions on open and fair competition will guarantee a level playing field.
– The parties recognised the importance of social matters, agreed to cooperate on these and to improve their respective social and labour laws and policies as per their international commitments.
Moreover, the agreement will facilitate people-to-people contacts and expand commercial opportunities and trade.
Going beyond traffic rights, the EU-Qatar agreement will provide a single set of rules, high standards and a platform for future cooperation on a wide range of aviation issues.
An increasingly important aviation partner for the EU, Qatar was the 15th largest extra-EU market in 2019 with 6.3 million passengers travelling between the EU and Qatar.