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DOHA, Qatar – The first round of negotiations between Qatar and the European Union (EU) on a new comprehensive air transport agreement started this week in Doha, with the State of Qatar seeking more mutually liberal access to each other’s markets. The meeting was opened by His Excellency Mr. Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al-Subaey, Chairman of Qatar Civil Aviation Authority and Mr. Carlos Bermejo-Acosta, Head of Unit, International Transport Affairs, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission.

In a statement during the meeting, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker underlined that the start of negotiations is a unique opportunity that will bring the State of Qatar and the EU closer. The State of Qatar has huge growth potential and Qatar Airways welcomes the competition from European airlines that would be able to benefit from a more liberalised market.

During the three-day meeting the parties are expected to exchange views on the principles of the comprehensive agreement and they have the chance to explain, discuss and clarify issues on the table.

Qatar Airways is committed to productive talks with the goal of liberalising the remaining restrictive Qatar-EU market and in exchange agree on the terms of a progressive fair competition principle with the EU.

H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “We are eager to discuss the ‘fair competition’ terms proposed by the European Commission. We support fair competition in the true sense of the words – fair access to markets, competing for customers based on product, service and price, on a level playing field. Rules that apply to one airline should apply to all. I look forward to exchanging views on this subject.”

Qatar Airways is also keen to explore opportunities of further cooperation in the fields of safety, security and air traffic management. In addition, discussion of aviation’s impact on the climate and what the industry can and should do to limit and reduce its impact are matters of great importance to the airline.

H.E. Mr. Al Baker continued: “We trust the discussions this week will set the stage for productive talks going forward, in our mutual desire to achieve a comprehensive air services agreement that brings our regions together.”

Notes to editors:

For images please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/qatarairways/albums/72157670836358553

About Qatar Airways:

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 190 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was awarded World's Best Business Class; Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East at the prestigious 2016 World Airline Awards managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ inflight entertainment system offers passengers up to 3,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 as well as select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways is one of the world’s leaders in sponsoring global sporting events, including the strategic team sponsorships of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi Arabia FC. Qatar Airways’ strategy reflects the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, serves more than 50 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on 190 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes eight Airbus 330Fs, 10 Boeing 777 freighters and two Boeing 747 freighters.

For further information contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 4022 2200, Fax: +974 40225350
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

Visit our homepage www.qatarairways.com or our sites on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.
For Qatar Airways corporate images, please click here: http://www.qatarairways.com/corporateimages

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