Support for continuation of US-UAE Open Skies agreement

16 / 05 / 2018

  • David Bronczek

The Airlines for Open Skies coalition has welcomed decision by US and the UAE to retain the their Open Skies arrangements agreed in 2002.

“This resolution is a clear victory for American workers, travellers, and exporters, and reaffirms the US commitment to Open Skies,” the US industry grouping declared.

“We commend the Trump Administration for its thoughtful approach and unwavering commitment to resolve this matter in a way that fully protects the rights of each party under the agreement.”

It said that the decision will “allow all sectors of commercial aviation to grow stronger than ever and upholds America’s leading role in global aviation”.

The US Airlines for Open Skies (USAOS) is a coalition of four US passenger and cargo carriers – FedEx, Atlas Air Worldwide, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways.

David Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of member FedEx Corp, applauded the announcement made by the US State Department earlier this week.

“FedEx strongly supports keeping America’s skies open for all business, and we commend the Trump Administration for upholding the Open Skies agreement between the US and the UAE,” he said.

“Today’s announcement ensures carriers from both countries can continue to make their own decisions about their operations, including Fifth Freedom routes, as the ability to implement new flights is vital to the future of aviation,” he said.

“We appreciate the State Department prioritising consumer choice and economic growth by honouring this commitment.”

In recent years, a number of US mainline carriers – Delta, United and American – have lobbied for changes to US Open Skies agreements with the UAE and Qatar.

Believing that carriers from these two Middle Eastern states benefit from unfair state subsidiation, these US airlines had hoped to limit access to the US for carriers based in the UAE and Qatar.

An agreement between the US and Qatar was reached in late January that seemed to leave both the US legacy carriers and the U.S. Airlines for Open Skies pleased with the result.