An airbus A350 airliner of China's Sichuan Airlines painted with giant panda lands at the Auckland Airport in New Zealand, Dec. 22, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
Brussels (People’s Daily) - The European Union (EU) and China signed two landmark agreements to enhance aviation relations on Monday.
“Today's agreements show the potential of our partnership, and we should continue on this path of cooperation. For it will always be in unity that we find strength,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.
The bilateral civil aviation safety agreement (BASA) aims to support worldwide trade in aircraft and related products. The initiative will remove unnecessary evaluation duplications and certification requirements for aeronautical products by civil aviation authorities.
According to an official EU statement, BASA will lower aviation industry expenses while promoting cooperation with China at a high level of civil aviation safety and environmental compatibility.
“Today, we took a first big step in this direction by signing two aviation agreements with China that will create jobs, boost growth and bring our continents and peoples closer together,” Juncker said.
The horizontal aviation agreement addresses earlier pacts that regulated air passenger traffic between China and the EU. Now, passenger carriers will be able to fly to China from any of the 28 EU nations.
Previously, airlines owned and operated by an EU nation could only fly to China if it had an agreement in place with Beijing.
With the horizontal agreement, bilateral air service between China and the EU will be in conformity with international standards and enjoy legal certainties beneficial to the airline industries on both sides.
The agreements come after the EU-China Summit in April, marking the first time for both entities to reach a deal in the civil aviation sector.
“China is one of the European Union's most important strategic partners and we attach a lot of importance to our excellent relations on transport matters,” said European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc.
As Bulc explained, the EU shares a mutual interest in connecting Europe and Asia and making it easier to transport goods and people between both sides.
The agreements are expected to boost EU aircraft trade with China and raise safety standards to the highest levels.