The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has signed an open Skies agreement with the Government of Burkina Faso.
The agreement was signed by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of GCAA and Daouda TRAORE, Minister of Infrastructures and Transports of Burkina Faso.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, GCAA Director General, Mansa Ountana, Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Saudi Arabia.
The Agreement allows full flexibility on the routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft, in any type of service (passenger or cargo). It also includes the exercise of fifth freedom traffic rights. In addition, both Parties agreed to allow unrestricted, non-scheduled/charter operations between the two countries.
Al Mansouri stressed the importance of open skies agreements like the one signed with Burkina Faso, which will contribute to boosting trade and investment in particular between the GCC and West African nations. In January 2015, Emirates Airline started operation of cargo services between Dubai and Ouagadougou.
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, commented, "GCAA's strategy supports open skies agreements which are beneficial in all air transport industry aspects as well as beneficial for the people and government of the UAE. The result will be enhancement in tourism, cultural exchange and strengthened business ties." UAE and Burkina Faso are currently members of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the two Ministers discussed ways to further enhance cooperation at the forthcoming ICAO Council meeting.
Laila Ali Bin Hareb Al Muhairi, GCAA Assistant Director General of Strategy and International Affairs, said that UAE ranks 2nd internationally on term of Open Skies agreements: "At a time when protectionist voices raise concern in some parts of the world, the UAE is driven more than ever to continue its international collaboration in air transport and shall continue its advances towards liberating skies with states globally" she added.
UAE now has air services agreements with over 166 countries, of which 87 are open skies agreements.