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United States offers UK limited Open Skies aviation deal

The United States has forwarded to the UK a more limited Open Skies aviation deal after Brexit.

However, participants remained hopeful that the profitable transatlantic market would continue to flourish.

The primary contention in the talks between the two nations is that the US is sticking with its usual template for aviation pacts, which has less generous conditions than its deal with the EU.

Those conditions could impact transatlantic flights operated by companies such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

In spite of the potential hurdle, a trade group from the US that represents airlines does not consider it to be a deal breaker in settling an Open Skies agreement with the UK and is confident that it can be finalized soon.

“For the airline industry, discussions with the U.K. are making significant progress,” said Sean Kennedy, Senior Vice President for Global Government Affairs at Airlines for America.

“We are pleased with the leadership of both countries in reaching a new agreement as soon as possible.”

Kennedy and other airline officials have discussed the matter with UK officials and were told that talks were going well. US negotiators have echoed the sentiment, Kennedy added.

“We are highly confident in their desire to reach a deal,” he said.

British and US officials seek to resolve the challenges and reach an arrangement soon so that transatlantic airlines continue to operate without any restrictions after the UK’s impending departure from the EU in March next year.

The negotiations “have been positive and we have made significant progress,” the UK Department for Transport said in a statement, relaying that both sides are hard at work to find an ideal conclusion to the discussions “soon.”

“All parties have a shared interest in ensuring that existing rights will continue under the new bilateral arrangements, allowing airlines on both sides of the Atlantic to continue to operate existing services as well as to seek to develop new ones,” the department remarked.

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