Deal Allows All EU Airlines to Fly to Armenia

BRUSSELS (DPA)–The European Union has signed an aviation agreement with Armenia allowing any European airline to fly to and from the former Soviet republic, officials in Brussels said Tuesday.

The deal, which caps three years of negotiations, replaces a set of bilateral arrangemen’s agreed by Armenia with some of the EU’s 27 member states.

"The agreement recognizes that airlines in the EU are not any longer national airlines, and all of them will thus have non-discriminatory access to the air transport market between the EU and Armenia," EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said.

EU External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said facilitating transport links represents "a crucial and very visible component in our policy to enhance people-to-people contacts and improve business links between the EU and Armenia."

The EU expects the deal to lead to further increase in passenger numbers between the EU and Armenia. These increased from 166,000 in 2006 to 204,000 in 2007.

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