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Singapore lauds 'historic' EU-ASEAN air travel transport accord

FINALISING the air transport between the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union is 'a historic achievement,' according to the Singapore government, which led the ASEAN team

10 June 2021 - 19:00
FINALISING the air transport between the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union is 'a historic achievement,' according to the Singapore government, which led the ASEAN team.

The ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement 'is the first such region-to-region agreement,' Singapore's Transport Minister S Iswaran said, reported Hamburg's Deutsche Presse-Agentur.



In a joint statement, the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and the European Commission, the EU's executive branch, described the deal as ??the world's first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement.'



The deal, branded 'pace-setting' and a reflection of 'the latest policy thinking,' was wrapped two days ago during a meeting of transport ministers, according to the ASEAN-EU statement.



The Singapore Transport Ministry said the agreement gives airlines 'greater opportunities to operate passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions,' with up to 14 weekly passenger services allowed and 'any number of cargo services.'



Mr Iswaran said the deal was 'a statement of commitment by ASEAN and EU member states to work together to tide over the current Covid-19 crisis, reconnect, and resume cross-border travel.'



Most of the 10 ASEAN member states have kept their borders largely shut since March last year, with exceptions made for returning citizens and foreigners with residency or work permits.


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