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U.S.-European Agreement Set to Open Skies
By DeAllous Smith

It’s official. Open Skies, a comprehensive air transport agreement signed by the United States and the European Union (EU) last year, is now active and expected to produce big benefits and positive results for Atlanta travelers.

Under the authorization, airlines can operate without flight, aircraft and route restrictions when flying between cities in the United States and all 27 EU member states.

“While the long-term impacts are uncertain, the Open Skies agreement essentially creates a huge expansion potential for airlines seeking to provide more direct routes to popular destinations in both the U.S. and Europe,” said Jeff Pearse, director of marketing and business development at Hartsfield-Jackson.

The Open Skies’ pro-competitive model, for example, allows access to London’s Heathrow Airport, the third busiest airport in the world, and eliminates restrictions that limited U.S. and U.K. service to four airlines.

Delta Air Lines, Hartsfield-Jackson’s largest air carrier, immediately began offering direct service from Hartsfield-Jackson to Heathrow on March 28.

This new service marks the first time Atlanta travelers will have direct access to the busiest airport in the United Kingdom.

“London Heathrow is a desirable destination for both business and leisure travelers,” said Pearse. “The Open Skies agreement changes the [airline] industry’s entire competitive landscape.”

Aviation officials anticipate Open Skies will reduce airline fares on trans-Atlantic routes and almost triple the number of passengers on these routes over the next five years. In Atlanta, more European airlines could increase service between Hartsfield-Jackson and other destinations overseas.

For more information on flight schedules and to view a complete listing of airlines operating out of the world’s busiest airport, visit www.atlanta-airport.com.

© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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