The European Union finalized a deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to expand flights between the two trading blocs following negotiations that began six years ago.
The deal, signed Monday in Bali, Indonesia, will add passenger and cargo services between and beyond both regions, boosting connectivity as Asia reopens following Covid-19 restrictions, the EU said in a statement.
Under the accord, airlines from member states can operate unlimited flights between the blocs, replacing more limited bilateral arrangements. In addition, they’ll be able to fly as many 14 weekly passenger services and any number of cargo flights via a third country or beyond to another nation.
The EU said the pact represents the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement. It will open up services for carriers including Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air France-KLM, Singapore Airlines Ltd., Thai Airways International and Malaysia Airlines.