By M K Anwar

New Brunei-UK air services agreement

Article from Borneo Bulletin Weekend. Published on Saturday Nov, 24 2007

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Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom enhanced their air transport cooperation with the signing of new air services between the two countries yesterday.

The agreement which came into effect yesterday was signed by the Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong representing the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam while representing the Government of The United Kingdom was Mr Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Undersecretary of State for Transport, in charge of Aviation.

Also witnessing the signing was the Brunei High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Pg Dato Paduka Hj Maidin bin Pg Hj Hashim.

The Agreement between UK and Brunei relating to Air Services was inked in London yesterday in the offices of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport in London. The text for the new agreement was negotiated and finalised with the United Kingdom's delegation in Bandar Seri Begawan in May this year.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Communication, the new Agreement is also in conformity with the European Community law supersedes a 17 year old outdated bilateral air services agreement that was signed on November 23, 1990.

The previous ones had certain historical arrangements which is now outdated and inappropriate to current developments in European policy on air services arrangements.

Mr. Fitzpatrick commenting on the new agreement said that it will be good for passengers and the aviation industry for both countries.

"It will also further opportunities for the development of the tourist industry in Brunei," he added.

The agreement offers new opportunities for both countries to foster cooperation in air transport bringing valuable inbound tourism industry and commerce between the two countries.

The United Kingdom is considered an important gateway for European tourists coming to Brunei. The country's national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines operates flights between Brunei and UK.

According to Brunei Tourism, the latest tourism figures of holiday visitor arrivals from January to August 2007 recorded 3,459 European visitors in total.

From now on, Royal Brunei Airlines could mount daily services on routes between BSB and London without any restrictions on aircraft type and seat capacity with the end of the previous arrangement.

RBA could also enjoy the privilege to mount four services per week on routes to Manchester if decided at a later date.

The signing of this new air services agreement is continuing development of the excellent bilateral relationship between both countries. Its significance is in its role improving the flow of passengers, goods, services and investment.

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