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By Karamjit Kaur

SINGAPORE has inked two separate open air agreements with Romania and Zambia.The deal with the first allows Singapore carriers to operate an unlimited number of passenger and cargo flights between Singapore and points in Romania, as well as beyond the country to any other city in the world.

The same privileges are given to Romania-registered carriers.

The Singapore-Zambia open skies deal similarly allows both passenger and cargo carriers of Singapore and Zambia to operate any number of flights between and beyond both countries to any other city worldwide.

It is Singapore’s first such air deal with an African country, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday.

Both pacts were inked during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Conference which was held in Dubai.

The inaugural event which ended on Friday was part of ICAO’s effort to implement a ‘one-stop shop’ platform to improve the efficiency of the bilateral negotiation process through a central meeting place where countries can conduct several bilateral air services consultations with one another.

CAAS director-general Lim Kim Choon said this has provided ‘a convenient platform to facilitate countries like Singapore in pursuing for the liberalisation of air services.’

Liberalisation provides carriers of the respective countries with full flexibility to respond quickly to market opportunities, as and when they arise, he said.

Mr Lim noted that the conclusion of the two agreements is also ‘a clear reflection of the warm bilateral ties that Singapore enjoys with Zambia and Romania, as well as our respective countries’ firm commitment to promote liberalisation in the aviation industry.’

To date Singapore has concluded open skies agreements with more than 30 countries. Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.