EU-U.S. Open Skies starts on Sunday

The new EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement will take effect on Sunday, March 30. For the first time, European airlines can fly without restrictions from any point in the EU to any point in the United States.The two biggest aviation markets, encompassing 60 percent of world traffic, will cooperate closer in all fields of aviation policy. In May 2008, the European Commission will engage in second-stage negotiations with the U.S. “This marks the start of a new era in transatlantic aviation,” said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transports. “This Agreement will bring more competition and cheaper flights to the U.S.”

All EU airlines are now able to operate direct flights to the U.S. from anywhere in Europe and not just from their home country. The Agreement removes all restrictions on routes, prices, or the number of weekly flights. Many airlines will increase the number of flights and destinations on Sunday. Flights between London-Heathrow and the U.S., for example, will increase about 20% compared to April 2007. With about 50 million annual passengers between the EU and the U.S., the agreement covers by far the biggest international air transport market. The removal of all market access restrictions will stimulate competition. Prices for transatlantic flights are expected to fall. The benefits for consumers could reach up to 12 billion euros over the first five years. The Agreement could lead to the creation of 80 000 jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend

Leave a Reply