UK and US agree new open skies arrangements

victoria@aviationnews-online.com
By victoria@aviationnews-online.com November 29, 2018 00:13

UK and US agree new open skies arrangements

Late last night (November 28), the UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the conclusion of a new open skies air services arrangement with the United States, which will replace the existing EU aviation agreement with the US.

The UK Department for Transport states that this deal will guarantee the continuation of the vital transatlantic routes and protects the £50bn trading relationship between our two countries that is supported by air travel.

In a statement, the government department said that the announcement shows that “the UK is open for business and is another positive step forward as the UK continues to develop as an outward looking global player with other major economies around the world”. The government claims that this deal ensures aircraft flying UK will continue to enjoy the same access they currently have with the US, “ensuring the UK maintains its place as Europe’s most important aviation hub”.

Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, praised the special relationship between the UK and the US: “Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies,” he said. “This new arrangement and those concluded with eight other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.”

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group, described the agreement as a “significant positive development” which IAG welcomes: “The agreement, which closely follows the Model US Open Skies Agreement, facilitates strong competition and is clearly pro-consumer. The US is a major destination for British businesses and tourists while the UK welcomes many American visitors to its shores”.

The signing comes as discussions regarding a new bilateral air services arrangement with Canada reach an advanced stage and is one of nine new bilateral arrangements the UK government has already concluded with countries around the world such as Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Switzerland.

Along with the announcement, the UK Department for Transport highlighted the Political Declaration agreed between the UK and EU that provides for a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement to ensure connectivity for passenger and cargo flights through market access for UK and EU airlines. Adding that the government will now work closely with industry to continue to look for opportunities to expand the UK’s global aviation network even further and “remains committed to a competitive and liberalised aviation sector”.

The UK intends to publish its aviation strategy shortly, which promises to outline a range of new measures that benefit the environment, passengers and businesses across the UK.

victoria@aviationnews-online.com
By victoria@aviationnews-online.com November 29, 2018 00:13