The European Union and Qatar signed an agreement on aviation on Monday, the European Commission announced.
The air transport agreement sets new rules and standards for flights maintaining high safety standards, fair competition, the environment, and social issues.
The new pact between the bloc and Qatar simplifies the already existing system of bilateral agreements between EU member states and the country and adds a clear regulatory framework and important provisions on competition.
“This agreement, the first one between the EU and the Gulf region, is a global benchmark for forward-looking aviation agreements,” EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said.
“This agreement will bring new opportunities, more choice and higher standards for passengers, industry and aviation workers,” she added.
From now on, EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Qatar from any airport of the bloc and Qatari airlines can also run direct flights to any European airport.
Following the agreement, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands will gradually open their market for cargo and passenger flights from Qatar.
In 2019, 6.3 million people traveled between the EU and Qatar.