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Negotiations commence on Australian - EU air services.



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NEGOTIATIONS COMMENCE ON AUSTRALIAN - E.U. AIR SERVICES

A Joint Statement from the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, Antonio Tajani.

BRUSSELS: Today, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and Mr Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, welcomed the commencement of negotiations for an Australia-European Union (EU) aviation agreement.

This agreement will play an important role in developing Australia-EU relations by facilitating trade and tourism. The proposed EU-wide agreement will replace the bilateral air service agreements between Australia and 17 EU Member States.

Air service negotiations between Australia and the EU will facilitate a more competitive aviation market. It has the potential to increase the number of flights and the range of services at the most competitive prices between Australia and the EU.

Such an outcome would benefit businesses, travellers and the Australian and EU aviation industries. Europe is Australia’s biggest aviation market. In 2007, 4.5 million people travelled between Australia and the EU, both directly and

indirectly.

The negotiations will go beyond the "open skies" approach. Australia and the EU aim at closer cooperation in key aviation areas, such as safety, security, competition and environmental protection. The negotiations will also aim to improve investment opportunities.

Negotiations will build on the recently signed ‘Horizontal’ air services agreement, which acknowledges the existence of a single European market for air transport links to and from Australia.

Contact: Jeff Singleton 0410 476 890

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