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EU Signs Aviation Agreement WIth UAE

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

05 December 2007


The European Union and the United Arab Emirates have signed an aviation agreement which allows European airlines to fly between the United Arab Emirates and any EU member state.

The agreement removes nationality restrictions in the bilateral air services agreements, and therefore allows any EU airline to operate flights between any EU member state in which it is established and the United Arab Emirates. It also acknowledges the existence of the European single market for air transport in the relations between the EU and the UAE.

"I welcome this important step in the EU's air transport relations with the United Arab Emirates," commented Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot upon signing the agreement. He continued: "The agreement recognises that airlines in the EU are not any longer national airlines but Community airlines. All EU airlines have now non-discriminatory access to the air transport market between the EU and the United Arab Emirates."

The so-called 'horizontal' aviation agreement does not replace the bilateral agreements in place between the EU member states and the UAE, but brings them in line with EU law. Horizontal agreements have been negotiated with 29 countries worldwide. About 600 air services agreements have already been modified by the joint efforts of the European Commission and member states, to replace national rules with the principle of EU airline designation.

The agreement is considered as an important step in aviation relations between the EU and the UAE, which is the first in the Gulf region to sign such an agreement.


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