The European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan signed an aviation agreement which will give all European airlines the possibility to fly between any EU Member State and Azerbaijan. The Agreement will be the basis to further strengthen aviation relations between the partners.
“The agreement recognises that airlines in the EU are not any longer national airlines, and all of them will thus have non-discriminatory access to the air transport market between the EU and Azerbaijan. This is an important step in our external aviation policy and a further building block in our policy towards neighbouring countries,” said Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for transport.
The so-called horizontal aviation agreement does not replace the bilateral agreements in place between Azerbaijan and 19 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 Azerbaijan. It thereby allows any EU airline to operate flights between Azerbaijan and any EU Member State if there is a bilateral air services agreement and if free traffic rights are available. The agreement acknowledges the existence of the single market for air transport in the EU and demonstrates the external dimension of this market.
The EU has negotiated 38 such horizontal agreements with partner countries and thereby brought more than 650 bilateral air services agreements in compliance with Community law.
Passenger numbers between the EU and Azerbaijan tripled between 2000 and 2007 to more than 210,000 passengers per year. The main markets in the EU are the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria.
The strengthening of aviation relations between the EU and Azerbaijan was also marked today by the signature of a working arrangement between the European Aviation Safety Agency and the aviation authorities of Azerbaijan.