Activating the EU-Qatar Air Transport Agreement CATA at this time would cause severe damage for Europe and would therefore be irresponsible. In the current market environment devastated by the pandemic, companies, trade unions, MEPs and the Chair of the EU Parliament Transport Committee all strongly recommend pausing the process. The EU Commission must now listen to this broad coalition and put the agreement on hold.
The German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit board member for international affairs, Maria-Pascaline Murtha, explains: “Air transport has been plunged into its worst crisis in history by Covid-19, through no fault of its own. Granting state-subsidised airlines from third countries massively expanded market access in Europe at this absolutely critical time would be irresponsible and put countless jobs in the European Union in danger.
Commissioner Valean, please do the right thing for our European aviation industry and its employees and pause the CATA agreement!”
The EU Commission concluded a comprehensive air transport agreement called CATA with the State of Qatar in March 2019. According to leading industry representatives, the basic idea of an open skies agreement with Qatar would currently be diametrically opposed to European business and employment interests due to the Covid-19 crisis. Activation of CATA is therefore not appropriate.
According to media reports (e.g. AIN Online), CATA is currently in the process of finalisation within the Commission, after which the European Council would also have to approve it.
Source: Vereinigung Cockpit