The authorities of the European Union member states, along with the leaders of Armenia, Qatar, Tunisia and Ukraine, have reached a Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement aimed at facilitating flight operations between the European Union and these countries.
This announcement was confirmed by a statement issued by the Latvian government on September 21, TheSchengen.com reports.
“These agreements will ensure mutual access to the air transport markets of the European Union and the countries concerned on equal terms and with uniform rules, including aviation safety, aviation security, air traffic management, social aspects and the environment,” the statement published by the Latvian government reads.
Earlier this year, the EU authorities announced their attempts to reach a joint agreement with the Armenian government in order to facilitate commercial flights between EU countries and Armenia.
In an effort to achieve such a thing, the council also approved separate draft agreements with Ukraine and Tunisia for the same purpose, in order to facilitate travel between both regions.
The statement noted that “the three neighborhood agreements will remove market restrictions with regard to the neighboring countries of the European Union and link these countries to the internal aviation market of the European Union, as it will adopt the aviation standards of the European Union and implement the rules of aviation in the European Union.”
At the same time, the Council of the European Union had announced earlier that a similar agreement would soon be reached with Qatar.
EU authorities stressed at the time that the four agreements would be finalized in autumn 2021 with an explanation that they would have to be ratified by authorities in all 27 EU member states.
In 2019, the European Union Commission announced that Qatar and the European Union had reached their first agreement on aviation rules. The Commission stressed at the time that regulations and standards for flights between the two regions would be updated through such a deal.
The coronavirus situation has made the travel process more complicated, particularly due to entry bans and travel restrictions imposed in order to stem the spread of the virus further.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, air traffic in European countries recorded a 61 percent decrease in May 2021, compared to the same period in 2019, according to reports from the European organization for the safety of air navigation, EUROCONTROL.
However, the organization stressed at the time that the situation could improve, although the COVID-19 situation continues to affect other countries.
In this regard, Airports Council International in Europe (ACI) stressed that air passenger traffic is in deep crisis due to the COVID-19 situation.
According to the press release previously published by ACI, air passenger traffic decreased by 87.7 percent in the European airport network, during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2019.