234.The Uk is the world leader in air services. This position has been consolidated in recent years by the creation of the AEEC and the internal aviation market. It is within this framework that the world`s most liberal air trade has developed, benefiting both European consumers and businesses. The UK`s leadership position and common interests with the EU in this area provide the government with leverage to negotiate a good deal on British air services after Brexit. EU membership also forms the basis of British airlines` access to air markets in some third countries. Dr Humphreys pointed out that the Commission had acquired “increasing powers to negotiate on behalf of the Whole of Europe” with regard to air services agreements with third countries.296 While the United Kingdom has concluded 111 bilateral air services agreements with third countries, these are supplemented or obsolete (in cases where two agreements exist for the same country) by agreements at EU level , including with the United States. , Canada and neighbouring countries such as Morocco and Israel.297 231.Finally, witnesses stated that it was imperative that, as easyJet says, “an agreement must enter into force before the UK formally withdraws from the EU.” 332 The Association of Airport Operators stated, however, that “failure to agree on a new air transport agreement would seriously disrupt important commercial and tourism links for the United Kingdom”333 IATA stressed, however, that negotiations on these agreements have “certainly lasted more than two years” and that the Commission is “increasingly behind in terms of unsurnated mandates”. They concluded that it was “not certain that the UK would be able to skip the queue”334 218.IATA estimated that “given the size and importance of the UK aviation market, the UK can count on some bargaining leverage”306. In countries such as Cyprus and Ireland, the United Kingdom accounted for “50 per cent of seats”, while it was “less than 10 per cent” in France and Germany.307 IATA also found that, despite a series of bilateral agreements that allowed them to fly between EU member states, Swiss airlines were unable to offer domestic flights within another EU member state.308 308 Ryanair found that Swiss airlines outside the market found that, despite a series of bilateral agreements allowing them to fly between EU Member States, Swiss airlines could not offer domestic flights within another EU Member State.308 That Swiss airlines could not offer domestic flights outside the internal market.308 Ryanair found, that Swiss airlines , although they may have soared from a number of bilateral agreements between EU member states, the global aviation market has been “characterized by protectionist behaviour and a slow and controversial negotiation of bilateral agreements on traffic rights”309 The EUROPEAN UNION`s internal air services market was created as a result of three sets of regulatory measures proposed by the Commission in the 1990s. The final package removed all remaining restrictions for EU air carriers and created the concept of a `Community airline` to replace domestic carriers.