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EU and Qatar sign aviation agreement

20 October 2021, 21:48 CET
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EU and Qatar sign aviation agreement

Qatar Airways - Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union and the State of Qatar signed a comprehensive air transport agreement Monday, upgrading rules and standards for flights between Qatar and the EU.

The agreement sets a new global benchmark by committing both sides to fair competition, and by including social and environmental protection. The signing means new opportunities for consumers, airlines and airports in Qatar and the EU.

Qatar is an increasingly important aviation partner for the EU. It was the 15th largest extra-EU market in 2019 with 6.3 million passengers travelling between the EU and Qatar. Ensuring open and fair competition for air services between both is therefore crucial, also for routes between the EU and Asia.

"This agreement, the first one between the EU and the Gulf region, is a global benchmark for forward-looking aviation agreements," said Transport Commissioner Adina Valean, adding that the agreement would bring "new opportunities, more choice and higher standards for passengers, industry and aviation workers".

The agreement creates a level playing field that is expected to result in new air transport opportunities and economic benefits for both sides:

  • All EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from any airport in the EU to Qatar and vice versa for Qatari airlines.
  • EU airports in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands will be subject to a gradual build-up of capacity until 2024. For more details on this, see the background guide.
  • Strong provisions on open and fair competition will guarantee a level playing field.
  • The parties recognised the importance of social matters, agreed to cooperate on these and to improve their respective social and labour laws and policies as per their international commitments.

The agreement will facilitate people-to-people contacts and expand commercial opportunities and trade. Going beyond traffic rights, the EU-Qatar agreement will provide a single set of rules, high standards and a platform for future cooperation on a wide range of aviation issues.

EU-Qatar air transport agreement - background guide

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