© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines planes are pictured at Changi Airport in Singapore, July 5, 2019. REUTERS / Lim Huey Teng / File Photo
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union have signed the world’s first inter-regional air transport agreement, ASEAN said, allowing its airlines to they extend service more easily to and within their respective regions.
The agreement, when formalized, will mean that airlines of the 37 member countries combined can operate any number of non-stop flights between countries in both regions, ASEAN said today. Friday.
In addition, airlines will be allowed to fly up to 14 weekly passenger services with a stop in another area to pick up passengers on the return trip. There will be no limit for flights with one stop for pickup.
According to the ASEAN statement, European Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said the agreement “provides essential guarantees of fair competition for our European airlines and industry, while enhancing the prospect of reciprocity for trade and investment.”
According to ASEAN, the EU is the third largest source of foreign investment and the third largest trading partner of the EU.
The statement said the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (AE CATA) will be submitted by lawyers for review and signature at a later date.
Brendan Sobie, an independent aviation analyst based in Singapore, said the deal was a positive step for airlines but issues such as securing seats could still be a challenge. .
“The general idea here is to make ASEAN and EU airlines more competitive than airlines from other regions, which have been actively gaining market share in the ASEAN-EU market,” he said. .
“There can be issues that prevent this type of route from actually working. Slots are always an issue in this area that can make traffic rights irrelevant.”
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