open skies agreement

What is the open skies agreement?

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(Last updated on: 03/04/2020)

The Open Skies Agreement is fundamental to the operation of the global aviation industry. In this post I will give you a brief explanation of how the Open Skies agreement works.

The Open Skies Agreement

One of the most important aspects of transport and tourism, not just in Europe but throughout the world, is the ability to have international relationships and travel between countries. In order to ensure that there is open transport between the United States and Europe, there is something in place called the Open Skies Agreement.

This agreement makes it possible for any airline of the European Union and any airline in the United States to fly anywhere between the two countries.

What Is The Open Skies Agreement?

The agreement consists of a few rules that both the United States and Europe must adhere to. Unfortunately, some in Europe have been disappointed with this agreement and feel that the rules are more strict on European airlines and more lenient on the U.S. airlines.

There have been previous agreements in place but in 2008, this current treaty was put in place and superseded all other agreements.

Let’s break down some of the parts of the Open Skies Agreement and take a look at what it all means.

What Is The Open Skies Agreement?

Airlines in the EU can operate flights to the United States from any European airport, regardless of their nationality (the US recognise them as European).

This is the first part of the agreement. Basically what this means is that any airport in the European Union can fly internationally to any airport in the United States. Regardless of what country or nationality the airline may be coming from, as long as it is part of the EU, the United States recognises them as European.

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Airlines in the EU can operate without restrictions on the number of flights, aircraft or route.

This is a big one for the EU and one that makes it possible to freely travel between the EU and the US. Airlines in the EU can operate within the EU as well as internationally without restrictions. Regardless of the number of flights, aircraft or routes, airlines are able to send planes and people throughout the country.

Airlines in the EU can set prices in line with the market.

Another positive aspect of this agreement is the ability for airlines in the EU to set prices for travel within the market at the time. For instance, if the market is on a high streak then airlines have the possibility to adjust their prices accordingly. Likewise, when the market is not doing so well and the economy isn’t necessarily positive at the time, airlines can drop their prices so citizens can still travel and the tourism sector can still thrive.

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Airlines in the EU can hold more than a 50 % share in American carriers, but not to gain overall control.

The Open Skies Agreement has made it possible for airlines in the EU to hold some of the share of American carriers and planes. Although EU airlines are not able to gain control of American carriers, this part of the agreement puts the U.S. and the EU on a more level playing field in terms of carriers and travel.

So, that is a basic explanation of what the Open Skies Agreement is and what it is used for. Do you have any other thoughts? Drop your comments in the box below! For more on this topic I recommend you consult some of the keys texts in the area such as Airline Marketing and Management by Steven Shaw or Air Transport Management: An International Perspective by Lucy Budd.

If you wish to cite any of the content in the post please use reference ‘Stainton, Hayley. (2018) Lifeasabutterfly.’


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