UK and US sign new ‘open skies’ air services arrangement

30 November 2018 (Last Updated November 30th, 2018 13:52)

The UK and US have concluded an 'open skies' air services arrangement to govern air travel after Britain leaves the European Union.

UK and US sign new ‘open skies’ air services arrangement
UK and US open skies air arrangement to ensure that the UK remains an important aviation hub post-Brexit. Credit: Crown copyright.

The UK and US have concluded an ‘open skies’ air services arrangement to govern air travel after Britain leaves the European Union.

Replacing the current EU aviation agreement with the US, the new arrangement will ensure that aircraft flying from the UK will continue to access the same facilities as they currently have with America.

Additionally, the arrangement will enable airlines to continue to operate and support the development of new services for the future.

Furthermore, the plan is intended to safeguard the £50bn trading relationship between the two countries that is backed by air travel.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The UK and United States have a special relationship which has helped shape the modern world and there is no better example of this than in aviation.

“Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies.

“It’s critical that Britain maintains full access to international aviation markets so it can continue to develop its global trading links.”

“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.”

International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh said: “It’s critical that Britain maintains full access to international aviation markets so it can continue to develop its global trading links. This agreement is a significant positive development which we welcome.

“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 UK Government said that the deal with the US comes as a new bilateral air services arrangement with Canada reaches its advanced stage. This is in addition to bilateral agreements Britain has already finalised with Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco, and Switzerland.

The recently concluded political declaration between the UK and EU gives a comprehensive air transport agreement to ensure connectivity for passenger and cargo flights through market access for UK and EU airlines.