EU, US make open skies permanent

THE EU and US have made permanent their open skies agreement.

As well as ensuring the elimination of protectionist restrictions on airlines flying between the two, at its heart this version of the agreement will allow European airlines to take majority stakes in US companies, where currently they can hold no more than a 25 per cent stake. Their US counterparts are already allowed to control 49 per cent of European carriers.

The agreement is still reliant on the US changing its laws to allow a higher level of foreign ownership, while the EU has said that it is happy to match whatever limit the US agrees to.

This “is good news for passengers, cargo shippers, airports and airlines who will all benefit from the additional commercial opportunities provided by this agreement,” said the EU’s transport commissioner Siim Kallas.

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