EU and China signed (20-May-2019) two “landmark” aviation agreements to strengthen cooperation, boost competitiveness of the EU aeronautical sector and enhance overall EU-China aviation relations. Details include:
- Bilateral civil aviation safety (BCAS): The objective of the BCAS is to support global trade in aircraft and related products, removing the duplication of evaluation and certification activities for aeronautical products by the civil aviation authorities to reduce costs for the aviation sector. The BCAS will also promote cooperation between the EU and China towards a high level of civil aviation safety and environmental compatibility;
- Horizontal aviation agreement: The agreement denotes China’s recognition of the principle of EU designation. All EU airlines will be able to operate to China from any EU member state with a bilateral air services agreement (BASA) with China under which unused traffic rights are available. Previously only carriers owned by a member state could operate between that member state and China. The conclusion of a horizontal agreement will bring BASAs between China and EU member states into conformity with EU law.
The European Commission and CAAC will now proceed with internal procedures to put the conclusion of the agreement in place. The Commission noted over 30 airlines connect the EU to China, linking 84 city pairs with 475 weekly return services and over 270,000 weekly seats in 2019.