Increase in air services with Japan, the EU signs a new agreement

On 20 February 2023, the Swedish presidency of the Council signed an air transport agreement with Japan on behalf of the EU.

The agreement will give all EU air carriers non-discriminatory access to routes between the EU and Japan, thereby promoting competition in the sector. Together with the EU-Japan Aviation Safety Agreement which entered into force in 2021, this agreement will further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the parties in the aviation sector. 

Andreas Carlson, Swedish minister for infrastructure and housing stated: "Today we have set another milestone in the EU's external aviation policy. This agreement will allow all EU air carriers to benefit from the right of establishment when providing air services to Japan, thus bringing existing bilateral agreements of our member states in line with Union law. This will further develop EU's cooperation with one of our key partners in the region." 

The agreement is part of a process of reviewing the existing regulations governing cooperation between EU member states and third countries regarding air transport. Indeed, following the judgments of the Court of Justice in the so-called "Open Skies" cases, in 2003 the Council had authorized the Commission to start negotiations with third countries on the replacement of certain provisions of the existing bilateral agreements on air services with a of Union (the "horizontal authorization"). The Commission has negotiated an agreement with Japan which replaces certain provisions of the 13 existing bilateral air services agreements between Member States and Japan. Article 2 of the agreement replaces the traditional designation clauses with an EU designation clause, thus allowing all EU carriers to benefit from the right of establishment.

For more information visit: External aviation policy: EU signs agreement boosting air services with Japan

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