EU and Brazil sign breakthrough aviation agreement
BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) — European Union (EU) Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, on Friday announced a breakthrough in the EU-Brazil negotiations on an ambitious aviation agreement.
A significant development in the context of the Strategic Partnership between the EU and Brazil launched in 2007 was carried out by negotiators from the EU and Brazil after agreeing to a comprehensive agreement on air transport services.
Within the agreement, all EU airlines will be able to freely operate direct flights to anywhere in Brazil from anywhere in Europe as the deal will remove all restrictions on routes, prices, and the number of weekly flights between Brazil and the EU.
In addition, new business opportunities will be created for European cargo operators flying to Brazil and beyond, while improved flexibility by reducing administrative burdens on airlines will facilitate doing business in Brazil – to the benefit and convenience of passengers.
The deal also stated that both sides have agreed to closely cooperate in a wide range of areas including safety, security, application of competition law, air traffic management, environment, consumer protection and social and labour issues. This will ensure a level playing field for fair competition between EU and Brazilian airlines.
The agreement builds on the success of the European internal aviation market and is an important step towards the normalization of the international aviation industry as it gradually removes outdated restrictions on prices, traffic rights and facilitates the cooperation between the authorities, including in international bodies.
Brazil is by far the largest air transport market in South America with annually around 4.5 million passengers carried on flights between the EU and Brazil, and it is also among the fastest growing aviation markets in the world.
In 2010, the Brazilian air transport market grew by 23 percent compared to 2009. The new agreement will be a major step in the opening of markets. It creates new investment opportunities and improves the commercial and operational environment for EU carriers operating into Brazil.
The new EU-Brazil agreement also comes at a strategic moment considering that Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
According to an economic impact assessment study, full market opening with Brazil could generate up to €460 million ($651.13 million) in consumer benefits a year. The potential for traffic growth is estimated at 335,000 additional passengers in the first year.
The EU has already comprehensive air transport agreements in effect with the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Morocco, the Western Balkan countries, Georgia and Jordan.
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