The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a close aviation partner of the European Union. The EU-UAE market is among the fastest growing air transport markets and EU passengers make up a significant share of all passengers to and from the UAE.
In 2016, the European Commission obtained the authorisation from the Council to negotiate an EU-level aviation agreement with the United Arab Emirates to further enhance the already close aviation relationship as proposed in the ambitious external aviation policy put forward with the 2015 Aviation Strategy for Europe.
The EU and the United Arab Emirates signed a horizontal air transport agreement on 30 November 2007 which allows EU airlines to fly between the United Arab Emirates and any EU Member State.
The agreement allows any EU airline to operate flights between the UAE and any EU Member State where it is established and where a bilateral agreement with the UAE 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-UAE aviation relations and EU aviation in general, please consult the Atlas of the Sky.