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EU-India aviation agreement would boost connectivity and sustainability


ACI Asia-Pacific and ACI EUROPE have jointly called on India and the European Union (EU) to establish a comprehensive aviation agreement to liberalise traffic rights and boost regulatory alignment, including the acceleration of decarbonisation policies between the two regions.

The call was made during this week’s EU-India Aviation Summit organised jointly by the European Commission and the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India.

A main focus of the event is on improving connectivity, promoting environmental sustainability, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks, fostering innovation and addressing regulatory issues.

Both the European and Indian airport industries welcome the Summit as a springboard for establishing closer co-operation and integration between the two markets.

India’s aviation sector has been amongst the fastest growing in the world, with ACI’s long-term forecast indicating that by 2041 India is expected to grow by 339% over 2022, reaching 1.1 billion passengers flown. This will result in fast-increasing demand on EU-India routes.

Therefore, ACI believes it is essential for India and the EU to work on a comprehensive aviation agreement that would effectively enable the development of air connectivity by removing current traffic rights limitations and red tape.

Crucially, says the association, such a comprehensive aviation agreement would support trade and tourism with significant benefits for consumers and the economy on both sides.

ACI Asia-Pacific and ACI EUROPE also emphasised the need to increase co-operation and seek policy and regulatory alignment in areas such as environment, safety and security, facilitation and competition.

Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific said: “The economic and social implications of a stronger cooperation between the EU and India are clear to all, given the strong perspective to growth of these two partners.

“Consumers in India would be the first beneficiary of a closer cooperation, with less hurdles and more choices to fly, more competitive prices and improved service more respectful of the environment.

“All this is subject to ensuring a strong commitment by both parties to further liberalise traffic rights, simplify the VISA issuance to fly to the Schengen area, introduce a one-stop-security regime to unleash the potentials of Indian airports as international hubs and secure public and private investment for the decarbonisation of the sector.”

His counterpart at ACI EUROPE, Olivier Jankovec, noted: “Liberal aviation agreements have become a staple of successful economic development strategies – with the connectivity they unleash being key to attract inward investment, achieve economic diversification and support livelihoods.

“All this shows there is so much more at stake than just aviation in what we are discussing today in New Delhi. There is no doubt that a comprehensive aviation agreement between the EU and India would be a game-changer on many levels.

“While the benefits would primarily accrue to consumers and communities on both sides, it would also enable closer cooperation and progress in delivering on the industry’s ambitious climate goals. We therefore urge both the EU and India to move forward and start negotiations as soon as possible.


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