Due to the geographical distance between Europe and Australia, aviation is a key enabler for the EU's overall relations with Australia. Australia is an established leader in its region and globally with regard to the regulatory framework for aviation and market liberalisation.
A horizontal agreement with Australia was signed and entered into force on 29 April 2008. This agreement allows any EU airline to operate flights between Australia and any EU Member State where it is established and where a bilateral agreement with Australia exists and traffic rights are available. It does not replace the bilateral agreements but adapts them to bring them into line with EU law. This is a major step change from the traditional set-up of aviation based on nationality restrictions and complements the EU's internal aviation market on the external side.
For further information and figures on EU-Australia aviation relations and EU aviation in general, please consult the Atlas of the Sky.