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Successful Conclusion of the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement

04 Jun 2021 News Releases

1.     The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) have successfully concluded negotiations this week on the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (AE CATA), the first region-to-region aviation agreement in the world.
2.     The AE CATA will enhance air connectivity between ASEAN and Europe and facilitate people-to-people and business exchanges. This will help support economic development in both regions as we work towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to air services liberalisation1, the AE CATA provides for co-operation between ASEAN and the EU in areas such as aviation safety, air traffic management, consumer protection, and environmental and social issues.  
3.     The successful conclusion of the AE CATA marks the culmination of eight rounds of negotiations that started in October 2016. Singapore led the negotiations for ASEAN while the European Commission (EC) led the negotiations for the European Union. The AE CATA was first seeded in February 2014 at the EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit in Singapore, where the EC announced its intention to secure a mandate to begin negotiations with ASEAN. 
4.     Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations of Singapore, said, ‘The successful conclusion of the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement is a historic achievement and a milestone in our bilateral ties.  It is the first such region-to-region agreement and a statement of commitment by ASEAN and EU Member States to work together to tide over the current COVID-19 crisis, reconnect, and resume cross-border travel.  It will help boost business confidence and support economic recovery.  Singapore is honoured to have been able to contribute to the inception, development, and conclusion of the agreement, leading the negotiations for ASEAN, and working closely with our fellow ASEAN Member States and the EU.’

1Under the agreement, airlines of ASEAN and the EU will have greater opportunities to operate passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions. Airlines of ASEAN and the EU will be able to fly any number of services between both regions; airlines will also be able to fly up to 14 weekly passenger services, and any number of cargo services via and beyond to any third country.