By Sarah Townsend
Bilateral air agreement permits countries to operate passenger, cargo flights
Qatar will be able to operate ‘fifth freedom’ flights from Hungary under a new bilateral agreement, the country said on Monday.
Qatar has signed an air services deal with the strategically located eastern European country enabling both of them to exercise so-called fifth freedom rights, which allow an airline to fly between two foreign countries so long as the flight originates or ends in the airline’s home country.
The agreement opens up airspace and provides full transport rights for Qatar and Hungary to operate “any number of passenger and cargo flights”, according to a statement on QNA news agency.
The deal was signed by Qatar transport and communications minister Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, and Hungarian minister of state Dr. Pana Petra.
It takes Qatar’s total number of bilateral air agreements with world countries to 160, QNA said.
The UAE’s Emirates airline has also been mulling new fifth freedom routes, for example from Zurich to Mexico City.
Emirates’ president and CEO Tim Clark said in May that the airline had yet to “solicit requests” to open up such a route fearing the “disruptive” effect on the market.