The United Arab Emirates represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has signed a Record of Discussions with the Government of the People’s Republic of China in Yinchuan and Ningxia.

The new agreement was signed by the Head of the UAE Delegation H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA and the Head of the Chinese Delegation Mr. Han Jun, Director General of the International Affairs Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Representatives from Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Air Arabia, and flydubai attended the signing ceremony.

H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi stressed the importance of this agreement, which will contribute to further boost the trade, investment and tourism between UAE and China. Adding that UAE and China have enjoy a prosper trade and investment ties, with UAE exports to China exceeding Dhs1bn and imports reaching Dhs54bn in 2012.

The two delegations agreed to increase passenger and combination services frequencies for operations to Urumqi, Xining, Kashgar, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou in order to keep up with the growth of air traffic between the two countries. Also, China side agreed unlimited frequencies with 3rd, 4th and 5th freedom traffic rights at Haikou, Sanya and Yinchuan for passenger & combination and all-cargo services for the designated airline(s).

Ms. Laila Ali Hareb Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Strategy and International Affairs, explained that an enormous potential lies in UAE-China air transport agreement, as tourists and investors are increasingly taking UAE bound flights with 361 thousand visitors from China to UAE during the first quarter of 2012, according the latest figures by UAE National Bureau of Statistics.

Captain Khalid Al Ali, Director of Air Transport of the GCAA also attended the negotiations. He added that with this new agreement, the designated carriers will have access to/from new markets in China and also improve culture ties between both friendly countries.

The UAE now has air services agreements with over 159 countries, of which 119 are open skies or fully liberal arrangements.

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