In November 2018, the UK reached an individual “Open Sky” agreement with the US, which will succeed the EU agreement after Brexit.  See U.S., EU On Track to Change Air Rules, U.S.A. Today, November 21, 2005, available from www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2005-11-21-us-eu-open-skies_x.htm?csp=N009. As part of the agreement, London Heathrow was open to full competition. This is the end of the exclusive right granted to only two American airlines and two British airlines (introduced in 1977 under the Bermuda II Agreement and for which UK foreign traffic rights are in effect in the United States) to fly transatlantic flights from Heathrow. These four airlines were British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and American Airlines. The Office of International Aviation and the U.S. Department of State negotiate bilateral and multilateral air transport agreements with U.S. foreign air partners. Such agreements provide the basis for airlines in the countries concerned to provide international air services to passengers, freight and mail. Through air agreements, the United States is developing a competitive operating environment for U.S. airlines between the U.S. and abroad.
For information on certain flight contracts, please contact us. For more information on the four open skies agreements and other specific national agreements, visit the Foreign Ministry`s website. More general information on open ski agreements can also be found in Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) bulletin 11-02 [PDF – 112 KB] and Bulletin 12-04 [PDF – 82 KB]. The United States has stated publicly that “the current agreements will remain in force as a legal basis for air services between the United States and certain Member States.” See “U.S. Says “Open Skies” Pact with U.U. Nations in Force,” Agence France Presse, November 5, 2002 (quote from Leonardo Alcivar, DOT spokesman). EU Vice-President Loyola de Palacio then reminded Member States that they should “initiate procedures to terminate these agreements to ensure that they meet their obligations under EU law.” See EU press release 116/04, “The Commission is taking steps to enforce open-air court decisions,” 20 July 2004, available in www.eurunion.org/news/press/2004/200400116.htm. Much of the Civil Aviation Act was developed by a combination of national laws and international agreements between the United States and other nations. In 1992, the U.S.
Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the Open Skies initiative and began negotiations and conclusion of modern civil aviation agreements with foreign countries and individual members of the European Union (EU). On the basis of a 2002 ruling by the European Court of Justice that several parts of these “open skies” agreements are contrary to EU law, the US and the EU are negotiating a new open skies agreement. It appears that there is a preliminary agreement between the parties, which would allow, among other things, any European and American airline to fly between every city in the European Union and every city in the United States, and that would allow American and European airlines to determine the number of flights, their routes and their fares according to market demand. Most air services are excluded from U.S. trade agreements. When air services are included, the scope is very limited. In these cases, the Office of International Aviation cooperates with the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the State Department to ensure that these provisions are compliant with the United States.