Monday, September 29, 2008

EU, India ink pending civil-aviation deal on the eve of Summit

The European Union and India signed late evening September 28, a much awaited “legal” agreement in the civil aviation sector on the eve of the annual Summit on September 29 (Monday). “The deal amends 26 agreements that India has with EU member states in one go and opens other avenues for co-operation like traffic management,” according to an EU official who did not want to be named.

The deal was signed by Jamini Bhagwati, India's ambassador to the EU and officials representing French presidency of the European Union even before Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency had a meeting in the French port city of Marseille.
The aviation deal brings to an end ongoing six years of legal uncertainty which began when the European Court in November 2002 decided that bilateral deals on civil aviation services between EU member states and third countries discriminated against airlines from other EU states.
This “legal” agreement, without affecting the flights frequencies between the EU and India, will encourage more airlines to offer services between the continents, according to officials familiar with the deal.

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