The European Union says it has signed a range of aviation-related protocols with China including a horizontal aviation agreement to strengthen their aviation cooperation.

According to the bloc,the agreements are a follow up on the EU-China Summit of April 9 and will serve to boost the competitiveness of the EU's aviation sector while enhancing overall EU-China aviation relations.

The first agreement will remove unnecessary duplication in the evaluation and certification activities either sides' civil aviation authorities have to carry out with respect to aviation-related products.

The second agreement will allow all EU-flagged airlines to fly to China from any EU Member State that has a bilateral air services agreement with China under which unused traffic rights are available. Until now, only airlines owned and controlled by a given member state or its nationals could fly between that member state and China.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, China's state-owned airlines Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines along with Hainan Airlines account for the lion's share of the 204,000 weekly seats in the Geographical Europe-China market (almost 48%) with EU-based carriers such as Lufthansa, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Finnair accounting for just under 20%.

Both agreements must now be ratified by Chinese and European bureaucracies before being effected.