Qatar and EU forge historic air transport agreement
The European Union and the State of Qatar have concluded negotiations for a landmark Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement that is set boost travel options in the region.
This historic agreement will be the first of its kind ever between the EU and a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member state, providing a significant competitive edge to air carriers of both sides and a sustainable framework for future operations.
As a result, all air carriers from the 28 European Union member states and Qatar now have unlimited and unrestricted access to their respective territories.
His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group chief executive, said: “Through these negotiations, both sides have demonstrated that positive engagement can build trust among nations, so they can embrace the benefits of competition.
“Our hope is that the success of these negotiations will encourage other trading blocs and significant aviation markets to join in achieving a liberalised global aviation regime for future generations.
“The agreement will offer a common platform for airlines in Europe and Qatar to understand each other better, creating new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.”
“We approach the principle of fair competition very simply – fair access to markets, competing for market share based on products and services of what the customer wants and is willing to purchase.”
Henrik Hololei, European Commission director general, Mobility and Transport, said: “We are very pleased to have concluded our negotiations with the State of Qatar. Thanks to the strong commitment of all parties, we have managed to reconcile our differences and found common ground through honest engagement and open dialogue.”
As part of the agreement, the State of Qatar and the EU have taken bold steps by agreeing to articles on: fair competition, environment, consumer protection, social aspects, and transparency, as well as the inclusion of a doing-business provision, which exempts EU carriers from the obligation to hire a local General Sales Agent in Qatar.