NEWS Last modified on November 29, 2018

UK-US air agreement prepares for life after Brexit

The UK and the US have signed a new 'open skies' agreeement that guarantees the continuation of air services between the two countries after Brexit.

The arrangement will replace the existing EU aviation agreement with the United States, as the UK continues to cement global ties as we prepare for a future outside of the EU.

It will guarantee the continuation of the vital transatlantic routes used by tens of millions of passengers a year, ensuring people can continue to travel easily between the UK and US and maintaining choice and good value travel.

The UK govenment says that also protects our £50 billion trading relationship between our two countries that is supported by air travel.
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It adds that the announcement shows that the UK is "open for business" and is another positive step forward as the UK continues to develop as an outward looking global player with other major economies around the world, ready to capitalise on a rich range of new global aviation and business opportunities.

The deal ensures that planes flying from the UK will continue to enjoy the same access they currently have with the US, ensuring the UK maintains its place as Europe’s most important aviation hub.

These arrangements will allow airlines to continue to operate undisturbed and aid the development of new services for the future.

UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “The UK and United States have a special relationship which has helped shape the modern world and there is no better example of this than in aviation.

“Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together,strengthening our ties and boosting our economies.
“This new arrangement and those concluded with eight other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.”

Not surprisingly, the news has been met with enthusiasm and relief by UK airlines and airport operators.

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group noted: “It’s critical that Britain maintains full access to international aviation markets so it can continue to develop its global trading links. This agreement is a significant positive development which we welcome.

“The agreement, which closely follows the Model US Open Skies Agreement, facilitates strong competition and is clearly pro-consumer. The US is a major destination for British businesses and tourists while the UK welcomes many American visitors to its shores”.
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Karen Dees, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: “The AOA welcomes the agreement and believes that international aviation connectivity is the foundation of a global Britain, enabling the UK’s trade in goods and services, as well as supporting tourism.

“This announcement is an important step in providing future connectivity and the certainty businesses in the UK need.

"The agreement will allow airports to better plan for post-Brexit, while also ensuring competition and the best deal for consumers. Crucially, it gives passengers and businesses alike confidence their future travel will be uninterrupted.”
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Tim Hawkins, chief strategy officer of MAG, operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports in the UK, enthused: “The government’s new aviation deal with the US government is hugely positive for passengers and businesses flying on US routes from our airports – because it gives clear reassurance on flights post-Brexit and provides an ‘open-skies’ agreement that will encourage competition and choice in the long term."

While Virgin Atlantic CEO, Craig Kreeger, said: “We are thrilled that UK and US governments have reached an agreement which will enable our customers to continue travelling as normal between the UK and US post Brexit. 

"We would like to thank the Department for Transport, Department of Transportation and Department of State for their diligence and hard work in finalising this agreement far in advance of the March 2019 deadline which will provide much needed reassurance for both business and leisure travellers.

"We will continue to work with governments and stakeholders across our network to ensure our customers can continue to travel seamlessly.”






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