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UK & Singapore Sign Landmark Air Services Deal


Department for Transport (UK)

UK and Singapore sign landmark air services agreement

The UK and Singapore have today signed a landmark aviation agreement on air services which removes all remaining restrictions on air services between the two countries.

The agreement, the terms of which were finalised at talks last month, was signed by the UK Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly, and the Singapore Minster for Transport, Raymond Lim.

Ms Kelly said:

"I am delighted to sign this landmark deal, which will be good for passengers and for the aviation industry, both in the UK and Singapore. As the most liberal agreement of its kind to date, I hope it will set the standard for other comparable agreements in the future.

"This is a major step forward in extending the benefits of open aviation agreements such as travellers already enjoy within Europe."

The new agreement opens access to each country's aviation market for the other country's airlines, including flights to any onward destination in other countries.

It is the first agreement that gives unfettered access to the London-US market to a non-EU or US airline. It applies state aid rules to ensure fair competition on both sides.

It also finalises a new treaty that liberalises arrangements on a wide range of further issues, including codesharing and ground handling.

The UK-Singapore deal will come into effect from 30 March 2008.

Notes:

1. The Government seeks in general to conclude air services agreements that reduce or remove Government-imposed restrictions on the numbers of services that may be run, allowing competition between airlines to the benefit of consumers.

2. The deal removes or relaxes restrictions in areas including the following:

* The right of airlines to pick up and set down passengers and cargo at intermediate or beyond points.

* The right of airlines to operate services within each other's countries, and from each others' countries to other points.

* The right of airlines to enter co-operative arrangements such as codesharing (joint operation and marketing of services).

3. It also prevents fair competition from being distorted by government subsidy or other means, and incorporates European law on the right of establishment, extending the benefits of the agreement to all EU airlines.

4. The new arrangements will come into effect on 30 March 2008, which is also the effective date of Stage 1 of the EU-US aviation agreement that opens the transatlantic market to all European and US carriers.

ENDS

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