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Go ahead by European Council to EU-USA talks to extend lease agreements for aircraft and transport

Brussels, Belgium - The negotiations with the US will be conducted by the Commission

The European Council yesterday gave the Commission the go-ahead to negotiate a clarification to the EU-United States air transport agreement to remove any time limit on the possibilities for airlines to lease aircraft along with their crew. Leasing an aircraft with its crew, known as "wet-leasing", makes it easier for airlines to open new routes and to respond to, for example, seasonal demand for tourist destinations. Increased flexibility for aircraft operators brings wider choice and lower prices for customers. The EU-US air transport agreement of 2007 already provides for an open wet-lease regime between the parties. The new agreement will clarify the relevant provisions in the earlier agreement and therefore facilitate the possibilities for wet-leasing. In practice, it will also grant an exemption from the current rules governing EU airlines' ability to wet-lease aircraft registered in non-EU countries, since these rules limit the maximum duration of such arrangements to seven months, renewable once. The new agreement is specific to the US and does not imply that there will be similar agreements with other non-EU counties. The negotiations with the US will be conducted by the Commission.

fra/pec - 1204364

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