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South Korea seeks single North Asian market

The South Korean government has used recently signed air services agreements with the EU and Canada to reinforce its commitment to pushing for a "unified" air transportation market with Japan and China. Seoul is also seeking further rights for its carriers to operate services to the European Union.

South Korea and the European Commission last week signed a Horizontal Aviation Agreement which will restore legal certainty to the bilateral air services agreements between South Korea and 20 EU Member States. The agreement will remove nationality restrictions in the bilateral air services agreements between EU Member States and South Korea.

This week, South Korea and Canada signed an open skies agreement, effective early 2009, subject to final approvals. The existing agreement limits weekly passenger services to five and two for cargo. The two sides also agreed to seventh freedom cargo rights, giving South Korean airlines permission to move cargo within Canada.