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ASEAN and EU Sign World’s First Bloc-to-Bloc Air Transport Agreement

BALI: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union (EU) have signed the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement between the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the European Union and its Member States (ASEAN-EU CATA) at the 28th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting on Monday, 17 October 2022, in Bali, Indonesia.

The ASEAN-EU CATA is the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement and reflects the latest policy thinking in air transport regulation. Negotiations on the agreement commenced in 2016 and concluded on 2 June 2021 at the Extraordinary ASEAN-EU Senior Transport Officials Meeting. This was followed by legal scrubbing and translation of the text in preparation of its signing.

The agreement is expected to provide greater opportunities for airlines of ASEAN and the EU, facilitating the operation of passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions, which will help bolster the recovery of air connectivity following the Covid-19 pandemic. Passengers can look forward to a greater variety of destinations, more flight frequencies, and more travel options between South-East Asia and Europe.

The ASEAN-EU CATA provides a foundation for closer cooperation between ASEAN and the EU in areas such as aviation safety, air traffic management, consumer protection, and environmental and social matters, and builds upon a number of existing initiatives.

“This year marks the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-European Union Dialogue Relations, and to commemorate this historic occasion, it is heartening that ASEAN and EU signed the world’s first region-to-region air transport agreement in Bali on 17 October 2022, and set a significant milestone in world aviation history,” said the Minister in Charge of State Secretariat of Civil Aviation of Cambodia, Dr. Mao Havannall.

“I believe that the ASEAN-EU CATA will strengthen air transport services, connecting people, cultures, and businesses across continents, as well as supporting the sustainable growth of aviation. The ASEAN-EU CATA emerges at an opportune time as ASEAN and the EU celebrate our 45 years of partnership,” he further added.

The ASEAN-EU CATA will now undergo ratification in accordance with the respective procedures of the ASEAN Member States and the EU and its Member States.


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