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IP/09/309

Brussels, 24 February 2009

EU signs civil aviation agreement with Pakistan

Today, the EU and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed an aviation agreement which will restore legal certainty regarding bilateral air services agreements between Pakistan and EU Member States.

"The agreement signed today is good news for both Pakistani and EU airlines as well as for passengers as it removes the legal uncertainty from the existing bilateral air services agreements. I welcome this important step in the EU's air transport relations with Pakistan. The agreement recognises that airlines in the EU are not any longer national airlines but Community airlines”, said Vice-President Antonio Tajani.

The so-called "horizontal" aviation agreement does not replace the bilateral agreements in place between the Pakistan and 18 EU Member States, but brings these in line with EU law. Most importantly, it will remove nationality restrictions in bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and Pakistan, thereby allowing any EU airline company to operate flights between Pakistan and any EU Member State in which it is established, in which a bilateral agreement with Pakistan already exists, and in which traffic rights are available.

Horizontal agreements have been negotiated with 45 countries worldwide. Nearly 800 bilateral air services agreements have already been modified by the joint efforts of the European Commission and Member States to replace nationality rules with the principle of EU airline designation.

The agreement is an important step towards strengthening aviation relations and encouraging further traffic between the EU and Pakistan.

Air transport is crucial for the relations between the EU and Pakistan, linking people, cultures and businesses.

More information on the EU and International Aviation:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air_portal/international/index_en.htm


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