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Antigua and Barbuda signs Air Service Agreement with France

Antigua and Barbuda signs Air Service Agreement with France

Communiqué Courtesy of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda recently signed an air services agreement with the French Republic, the first such agreement between France and an OECS Member State.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on Monday 28th March 2022, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister with responsibility for civil aviation, the Honorable Sir Robin Yearwood, pointed out that the agreement with France replaced arrangements dating back to the 1940s which Antigua and Barbuda acceded to at its independence in 1981. He noted that the new agreement reflected the many trends and developments in civil aviation which had taken place since then including in areas of safety and security as well as in the liberalization of the air transport sector.

Sir Robin pointed out that discussions on enhanced cooperation had already started between aviation officials of both countries and noted the importance of restoring intra-Caribbean air travel in the wake of the major disruptions to regional travel as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

Signing on behalf of the French Republic was Monsieur Marc Mertillo, charge de affaires a.i. and Acting Head of Mission in the Embassy of France to the OECS and Barbados. He welcomed the new agreement which he noted defined a new modern legal regime in line with international air law as well as European law relating to such areas as safety, security and commercial competition. He indicated France’s continuing commitment to the sustainable growth and development of the regional air transport sector.

Under the new agreement Antigua and Barbuda has designated LIAT 1974 Ltd and CalvinAir Helicopters as its national carriers while the French authorities have designated Air France, Air Antilles, St Barth Commuter and St Barth Executive as its designated national airlines on the routes. The agreement provides both countries with opportunities for direct traffic between Antigua and Barbuda and French territories as well as for significant so-called fifth freedom traffic rights with a number of English, French, Dutch, and Spanish speaking Caribbean destinations.

The agreement with France comes a few days after Antigua and Barbuda also signed its first bilateral air services agreement with the Republic of Cuba, further strengthening the country’s position as a major hub for regional travel within the eastern Caribbean.

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About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia