Thursday, April 29, 2010

U.S./Israel Open Skies

With the fallout of the Icelandic volcano ash crisis capturing most of the aviation law and policy news over the past two weeks, few noticed the finalization of the United States/Israel open skies agreement.  From the press release:

“This agreement is good news for both countries,” Secretary LaHood said. “Consumers, airlines and economies of both the United States and Israel will enjoy the benefits of competitive pricing and more convenient service.”

Under the new agreement, airlines from both countries will be allowed to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand for both passenger and cargo services, without limitations on the number of U.S. or Israeli carriers that can fly between the two countries or the number of flights they can operate. It will also provide unlimited opportunities for U.S. and Israeli carriers to serve the market through cooperative marketing arrangements, including code-sharing.

The previous U.S.-Israel agreement, while liberal in many respects, contained restrictions on code-sharing opportunities and limits on the cities that could be served. Open Skies will remove these restrictions and provide important new third-country code-share opportunities for the carriers of both sides.

See Press Release, Department of Transportation, U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces U.S.-Israel Agreement on Open Skies, DOT 80-10 (Apr. 23, 2010) (available here).

Readers interested in reading the full agreement can do so here.

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