Bilateral Air Transport Agreement
A bilateral air transport agreement is a contract to liberalize aviation services, usually commercial civil aviation, between two contracting states. A bilateral air services agreement allows the airlines of both states to launch commercial flights that covers the transport of passengers and cargoes of both countries. A bilateral agreement may sometimes include the transport of military personnel of the contracting states. In a bilateral agreement, the contracting states may allow the airlines of the contracting parties to bring passengers and cargoes to a third country or pick up passengers and cargoes from the host country to the home country of the airline or to a third country in which the contracting states has existing open skies agreement.
The EU-U.S. Open Skies Agreement was amongst one of the most significant open skies agreements concluded in recent years, applying to civil aviation traffic between two of the world's three largest markets. The Asian market, considered one of the fastest growing, remains relatively regulated at present, although the phased introduction of the ASEAN open skies agreement covering ten countries in Southeast Asia from 2008 has prompted major Asian markets (including Japan, China and India) to consider similar initiatives. The ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services and the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services which were simultaneously approved on May 20, 2009 in Manila, Philippines are multilateral air transport agreements among the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. These two agreements which took effect January 1, 2010, call for a calibrated and gradual implementation in each contracting state, to allow countries with less developed airline industry to cope up with more developed ones. It is part of the broader ASEAN Air Transport Integration and Liberalization Plan.