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The EU/US Open Skies agreement was brought in ten years ago to provide uniform rules for airlines.
The EU/US Open Skies agreement was brought in ten years ago to provide uniform rules for airlines.

UK-US ‘Open Skies’ Talks Hit Brexit Turbulence

UK-US ‘Open Skies’ Talks Hit Brexit Turbulence

Fewer flights could go between Britain and America after Brexit after the US offered UK a worse deal than it currently has, it emerged on Monday.
Talks between British and American officials hit the buffers after the US only offered standard access rights for airlines like BA and Virgin because they are majority owned by non-British/American firms. But British transport officials insisted on Monday night discussions were progressing well and had made good progress, the Sun reported.
The EU/US Open Skies agreement was brought in ten years ago to provide uniform rules for airlines and airports - and has led to an estimated 18% increase in transatlantic traffic from 2006 to 2016.
It allows any airline of the European Union and any airline of the United States to fly between any point in the European Union and any point in the United States.
But the hitch arose when US negotiators offered only a basic bilateral agreement for when Britain quits the EU.
Standard agreements usually require airlines to be majority owned and controlled by firms from their home country.
But both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic do not fall into that category - prompting fears flights could be affected.
Normally landing rights for bilateral deals will only apply to a fixed number of flights per week to a fixed destination.
Best for Britain champion Lord Mark Malloch Brown described it as a “rude but overdue wake-up call”.
He blasted: “The US thinks we now have less clout than larger regional blocs in trade negotiations. It’s all about market size and Britain has opted for reduction surgery.
“Trump will always put America First and our position is at the back of the queue. We are flying blind here with Theresa May’s shambolic Brexit plans.”
But a Department of Transport spokesman added: “Our discussions with the US about a new UK-US air service agreement have been positive and we have made significant progress. Both sides want to conclude these discussions soon.
“All parties have a shared interest in ensuring that existing rights will continue under the new bilateral arrangements, allowing airlines on both sides of the Atlantic to continue to operate existing services as well as to seek to develop new ones.”

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