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TIACA welcomes new US-EU ‘open skies’ agreement

By: | at 08:00 PM | Air Cargo  

Jack Boisend
Fights on for freedom of air cargo movements

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has welcomed the signing of a new transatlantic economic partnership between the United States and the European Union that incorporates an ‘open skies’ agreement for transatlantic flights, effective from March 2008.

TIACA has been actively campaigning for the resumption of bilateral negotiations between the US and the EU in line with its objective to allow unrestricted access for air carriers to move air cargo between two points anywhere in the world.

As part of its objective to promote the best interests of the air cargo industry, the Association has taken its campaign to the leaders of the US Department of Transportation and the head of EU aviation policy.

Only last month, senior US and European Union officials involved in EU/US open skies negotiations addressed TIACA’s Executive Conference in Cologne. Speaking in the session ‘Turbulence over the Atlantic’, Michael W. Reynolds, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs in the US Government shared the stand with Daniel Calleja, Director of Air Transport in the European Commission.

Jack Boisen, Chairman of TIACA, said: ‘This agreement between the US and EU is an important step forward but obviously some issues still need to be resolved. TIACA will continue to support and campaign for any measures that lead to liberalization. We are confident that the commercial benefits that will be derived by airlines and consumers as the first phase of the open skies agreement is implemented will make it difficult for both sides not to successfully conclude second phase negotiations. This is a significant move towards the unrestricted movement of air cargo.

‘TIACA has worked hard to establish good dialogue with the regulators on both sides of the Atlantic and we will use the recognition and contacts we now have to fight for the best outcome for our members and the air cargo industry as a whole.’

The new trans-Atlantic economic partnership was signed at a summit in Washington. The pact is designed to boost trade and investment by harmonising regulatory standards, establishing the basis for a US-EU single market.

The open skies agreement commenced on March 30, 2008 and allows EU carriers to fly to anywhere in the US and vice versa. The deal promises to lower air fares and provide more choice for passengers on both sides of the Atlantic. The EU hopes to go further and create an ‘open Aviation Area’ between the two sides “in which investment can flow freely and in which European and US airlines can provide air services without any restriction,” said a EU statement.

Second stage negotiations are expected to take place by the end of May 2008.