Government officials from the United States and Britain announced Wednesday the two countries reached a deal on a new open skies agreement regarding air travel once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
According to Reuters.com, a statement provided by the English government revealed the relationship with the U.S. aviation industry will not be impacted, with key transatlantic routes continuing and travel between the nations remaining as easy as ever.
“We congratulate U.S. and U.K. negotiators for reaching an agreement that provides for uninterrupted trans-Atlantic service and ensures that alliances continue to thrive,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said in a statement. “Importantly, today’s agreement provides needed certainty for American’s team members and customers around the globe.”
One of the major concerns regarding the aviation industry due to Brexit was the rules that require airlines to have substantial U.S. or British ownership. While airlines in England with EU ownership were concerned, the new deal will allow carriers to continue existing operations under the EU-U.S. open skies deal.
Airlines that are bought and sold moving forward will be required to meet ownership standards set forth or get U.S. approval. Officials in America confirmed the agreement will take effect after Brexit.
“Today’s announcement provides much needed certainty that when the UK exits the European Union there will be no disruption to air service for the traveling and shipping public,” Airlines for America CEO Nicholas E. Calio said. “Continued connectivity also will benefit the 720,000 men and women employed by the U.S. airline industry, who work to deliver a safe, seamless and positive travel experience to customers each day. We deeply appreciate the sense of urgency that both governments and their negotiators brought to concluding this agreement.”
Top England-based carriers such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian Air could have been impacted negatively if the new deal had not been struck. British Airways’ parent company IAG CEO Willie Walsh said the move was a “significant positive development which we welcome.”
In addition to the deal struck with the U.S., Britain has also struck bilateral air services agreements with Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Switzerland. The nation is also working on a partnership with Canada.
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