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Singapore Expands Open Skies Agreement Network

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

23 July 2010

Singapore has announced the signing of Open Skies Agreements with Barbados, Brazil, Jamaica and Rwanda, at the International Civil Aviation Organisation Air Services Negotiation Conference 2010, held earlier this month in Jamaica.

The OSAs with Barbados and Jamaica are the first between Singapore and the Caribbean Community. The Singapore-Brazil OSA emanates from the earlier signing of the Singapore-Peru OSA, which was concluded in 2009 together with the establishment of Air Services Agreements with Colombia and Ecuador. The OSA with Rwanda is Singapore's second with an African country, after the Singapore-Zambia OSA that was concluded in 2008.

Without restrictions on capacity, frequency or routing, OSAs allow carriers the full flexibility to introduce services when market opportunities arise.

“Direct air links with Singapore will allow businesses in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean to access more markets by tapping on Singapore's excellent connectivity to the Asia Pacific region. This will reinforce the growing people and trade flows between these regions and the Asia Pacific,” the Singapore government said in a statement following the signings.

Currently, there are currently no direct flight connections between Singapore and Latin America or to the Caribbean. In Africa, Singapore Airlines operates passenger services to Egypt and South Africa, while Singapore Airlines Cargo operates cargo services to Kenya and South Africa.

Apart from sealing OSAs with the four countries at ICAN 2010, Singapore and Fiji also concluded an open skies framework for cargo services and expanded traffic rights entitlements for passenger operations between and beyond both countries.

Welcoming the agreements, Yap Ong Heng, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, stated, "Airlines operate in a challenging environment with dynamic markets. It is thus critical for countries to proactively put in place air services frameworks that enable airlines the commercial freedom to respond to market opportunities. The Open Skies Agreements that Singapore and these countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America have concluded recognize the benefits that they can bring to airlines, the travelling public and the wider economy through increased trade, tourism and people flows."

Singapore now has OSAs with over 40 countries.

TAGS: business | aviation | Jamaica | Singapore | agreements | Brazil | Rwanda | trade | Barbados

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