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United States and United Kingdom sign a new Open Skies agreement

The United States and the United Kingdom signed a new Open Skies agreement, as the latter is exiting the European Union.

The agreement, which involves the United States, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, was agreed in principle in November 2018. On November 17, 2020, the two governments have confirmed the signing of the new Open Skies deal between the two parties on either side of the Atlantic.

“This historic U.S.-UK Open Skies Agreement builds upon the special relationship that exists between our nations,” stated the United States secretary of transportation Elaine Chao. The agreement, signed by Chao, US State secretary Mike Pompeo and the UK’s secretary of state for transportation Grant Shapps, will take into effect on January 1, 2021.

The new treaty “will facilitate a seamless transition in international air transportation markets for the traveling public, airlines, shippers, and other stakeholders,” read the announcement. In addition to ensuring that the agreement meets all criteria of the US Open Skies policy, the new accord will also provide additional traffic rights for cargo airlines based in the United States.

Upon the agreement in 2018, the United Kingdom valued the trade between the two countries at £50 billion ($66.3 billion), which is supported by air travel as well.

 

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