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“Europe’s decision makers have in the past been too accepting of the Gulf airlines' business model with state-sponsored or state-owned airlines, access to cheap infrastructure, capital and fuel,” said Capt. Dirk Polloczek, ECA President on the occasion of the 1st round of EU-Qatar Air Transport Agreement (ATA) negotiations. The two sides reviewed, during the meetings hosted by Doha on 19-21 Sept, the provisions of the proposed comprehensive ATA and discussed them in detail. There seems to be a common agreement on the need to complete the negotiations in the subsequent phases. The Commission has to conclude the deal imperatively within 3 years due to the sunset clause the Member States agreed upon. Dirk Polloczek says: “We trust that the EU Commission has finally come to understand that the major traffic gains by Gulf carriers on the Gulf-EU market have actually come at the expense of EU airlines.  The truth is that our airlines cannot compete with Middle Eastern governments. This is why the EU- Qatar agreement must include efficient provisions for enforcing financial transparency, fair competition and high social standards for employees, based on a strong enforceable social clause. The EU Commission holds the key to survival for Europe’s aviation.”

Next round of negotiations: 27-29 January 2017, Doha

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Take a look at ECA's Recommendations on EU-Gulf negotiating mandate