Eu Asean Aviation Agreement

At the same time, we cannot deny that European aviation is going through a difficult period. The global economic recession has hit Europe harder than other parts of the world. This has had a very negative impact on the profitability of many of our airlines and we have seen some bankruptcies. We are now seeing signs of improvement – but the recovery will take some time. We also face difficult challenges in the implementation of the Single European Sky, and a series of increasingly saturated major airports lack capacity. I think it makes sense for such large groups of states to cooperate closely. Cooperation between Europe and ASEAN in civil aviation is extensive and there are considerable economic benefits for both sides through the creation of a common air transport market between our two regions. If Europe cooperates fully with ASEAN, we can extend the proven benefits of an internal market to a much larger interregional internal market. We are following with great interest the ASEAN discussions and the progress made towards a single regional air transport market by 2015. And it goes without saying that we are ready to share with you our experience of integrating and liberalizing a regional air transport market.

I am pleased that the EU can support ASEAN in the creation of the ASEAN internal aviation market through the `ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project`. Let me say a word about the situation of European aviation. The summit brought together some 300 political and business leaders, including a number of EU and ASEAN transport ministers. The summit discussed the many opportunities offered by the EU and ASEAN aviation markets and the benefits that the EU and ASEAN derive, among other things, from better market access and integration in air services and the aviation sector, cooperation to improve the efficiency of air traffic management and harmonization of safety standards. In particular, the summit highlighted these and other potential benefits to peoples and businesses in both regions from a comprehensive air services agreement between the EU and ASEAN. Who took advantage of this seismic change? Answer: the consumer and that`s the whole problem. European consumers and businesses have enjoyed remarkable benefits from the creation of the single aviation market in the EU. Passengers have more choices. Market behaviour, travel opportunities and customer expectations for intra-EU flights have changed considerably. Ladies and gentlemen, let me now ask you what could be a missing link. I am telling you that this could be the air relations between ASEAN and the EU.

That is why I think it is fair to say that Europe now has a very open and robust air transport market, where strong institutions are working together to make it stronger.

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