If today’s development proceeds as intended it will mean more flights between the European Union and Qatar by both EU carriers and Qatar Airways.
The new EU and Qatar aviation treaty will provide more opportunities for consumers, airlines and airports in both Qatar and the EU.
Key points are:
- All EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from any airport in the EU and Qatar as well as vice versa. This also applies to Qatari airlines [of which there is only Qatar Airways].
- EU airports in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands will be subject to a gradual build-up of capacity until 2024.
- Strong provisions on open and fair competition will guarantee a level playing field.
The EU statement goes on to say that “Qatar is a close aviation partner for the EU. Some 6.3 million passengers a year travelled between the EU and Qatar under the existing 26 bilateral aviation agreements.
However not everything in the garden is rosy. Of those 6.3 million passengers how many were point-to-point travellers compared to those simply changing planes in Doha for onward destinations?
Presumably the above figure applies to 2019 when the UK was a member.
And note the “guarantee” of a “level playing field.” Glance at today’s schedules and you will see Qatar Airways already benefits by operating the most flights.
Of course these are unusual times and air traffic between the EU, Asia and Australasia is badly affected by restrictions of one sort or another.
So it will take time before the treaty’s benefits become apparent – readers can see the EU statement here.
We shall update this piece as more details emerge.