Arab carriers press for broad access pact with EU

Abu Dhabi
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Arab carriers are pressing regional authorities to open discussions with European counterparts with a view to establishing a broad Arab-European aviation framework.

The Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), during its annual general meeting in Abu Dhabi, highlighted the expansion of European Commission aviation agreements to include Arab states, such as Morocco and Jordan, and stated that it "sees the importance of preparing a framework of principles" between the EU and the Arab world.

It said that such a framework should "guarantee a balanced relationship between the two regions" and enable all willing Arab states to join.

Access to the EU from Arab states - specifically the large Gulf carriers - has been a particularly contentious issue.

AACO has called upon the Arab Civil Aviation Commission and Arab League to "launch a dialogue" with relevant European parties "with regards to realising this Arab-European aviation framework", in order to reach a declaration of principles.

It wants to see an agreement established in parallel to that involving Mediterranean states. AACO secretary general Abdul Wahab Teffaha said that while he was "optimistic" that such a broad pact could be secured eventually, achieving it would "take time".