The Qatari Minister of Transport, Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, will fly to Brussels on Tuesday (10 May) to reinvigorate talks on an aviation agreement with the European Union, which have been stalled for almost half a year.
EU member states have not even started discussing the mandate for the European Commission to negotiate agreements with fast-growing aviation countries in the Persian Gulf, despite a push from Brussels to get the green light by early spring.
In an unprecedented step, Europe's five largest airline groups, including budget carriers EasyJet and Ryanair, launched a new alliance on Wednesday (20 January) to combat rising airport charges amid a fierce battle with Gulf rivals.
The European Commission is considering new measures to tackle what it sees as unfair competition from non-EU airlines as part of a package of proposals unveiled on Monday (7 November) designed to boost the competitiveness of Europe's aviation sector.
The issue of subsidies and “unfair pricing” in the aviation sector will be an “important” part of the upcoming talks with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, according to the latest draft of the aviation package seen by EURACTIV.
Good progress has been made on transport safety and security in the last four years, according to Violeta Bulc. But more work lies ahead when it comes to pricing, taxation and modal integration relying on digitised information systems, she said.
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