The EU has agreed to landmark Open Skies agreement with the United States. European Airlines will now be able to operate routes to America from any European city – not just from their own country. And restrictions on US airlines will be lifted too. The accord will increase the number of transatlantic flights too, and experts say the increased competition will drive down prices.
The 27 ministers in Brussels were unanimous, a feat in itself which was hailed by the Transport Commissioner. And Germany’s Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said there is more to come. “In the second phase,” he said, “we have opened the door to create an entirely liberalised market, and with it a free-trade zone in air transport.”