Brussels, 6 May 2010
European Commission proposes to open the aviation market with Brazil
The European Commission has proposed to open negotiations on a comprehensive aviation agreement with Brazil, which is by far the largest air transport market in South America. According to an economic impact assessment study, an agreement with Brazil could generate up to €460 million in consumer benefits a year. The potential for traffic growth is estimated at 335,000 additional passengers in the first year.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "Brazil is a strategic partner of the European Union. I will recommend to EU transport ministers to open negotiations with Brazil as soon as possible aiming at market opening and high regulatory standards. I am convinced that this would create new opportunities for our industry. Passengers would benefit from greater choice and a high level of safety and security. It would promote trade and tourism between the EU and Brazil."
Negotiations would aim at opening market access for airlines and achieving a high level of regulatory convergence. A market opening for air services between the EU and Brazil would create significant benefits for passengers and for the air transport industry. More than four million passengers per year are carried on flights between the EU and Brazil.
Earlier this year the Brazilian government expressed strong interest in air transport negotiations with the EU in order to remove barriers for air traffic growth. The timing is of particular relevance when considering the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. European airports also explicitly asked the EU institutions to open in 2010 air transport negotiations with Brazil and other strategic markets in order to facilitate the industry's recovery after the crisis. The Commission needs authorisation from EU transport ministers before opening such negotiations.
In recent years Brazil has developed excellent cooperation with the EU on aviation issues. An agreement negotiated with Brazil in 2009 ensures non-discriminatory treatment for all EU airlines. Negotiations on an aviation safety agreement between the EU and Brazil have been finalised on the technical level. Brazil is organising jointly with the European Commission the EU–Latin America civil aviation summit in Rio de Janeiro on 25 and 26 May 2010, bringing together aviation leaders from Europe and Latin America.
The EU already has air transport agreements in effect with the United States, Canada, Morocco and the Western Balkan countries. In recent weeks, the Commission has successfully finalised air transport negotiations with Jordan, Georgia and a second-stage agreement with the United States.
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