Dorothy Robyn, senior consultant with the Washington-based Brattle Group, describes the benefits of a transatlantic open skies agreement for consumers and airlines After the consolidation of small airlines in the Central American subregion in the early 1990s, other but almost identical open skies agreements were concluded with the United States in 1997. By 1995, the U.S.-Canada Air Services Agreement had already entered into force, primarily based on the “open skies” model. The Brattle Group recently completed a large study that found that air traffic would increase and fares would decrease if existing restrictions were lifted. At the request of the European Commission, we analysed the economic impact of creating a single and open air transport market for Europe and the United States. We have come to the conclusion that an “open airspace” between the EU and the US measures the impact of the OSA on bilateral passenger traffic and trade in services for a country. The contract disappointed European airlines because they felt chosen for US airlines: while US airlines are allowed to operate flights within the EU (when it is an all-cargo flight or a passenger flight, if this is the second leg of a flight launched in the United States), European airlines are not allowed to fly intra-U.S. flights, nor can they acquire a controlling interest in the an American operator.  The agreement replaced and replaced the old open skies agreements between the United States and some European countries. Third, the removal of the four undeered agreements would result in an increase in passenger traffic. Current bilateral agreements between the United States and the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland and Spain limit the amount of transatlantic travel.
In order to assess the impact of replacing these restrictive bilateral agreements with open airspace, we calculated the impact of the “open skies” agreements between the United States and other EU countries in the 1990s, which replaced equally restrictive agreements. Most air services are excluded from U.S. trade agreements. When air services are included, the scope is very limited. In these cases, the Office of International Aviation cooperates with the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the State Department to ensure that these provisions are consistent with U.S. aviation policy. In the General Service Tariff Agreement (GATS), the Air Services Annex explicitly limits air service coverage to aircraft repair and maintenance operations, computerized reservation systems, and the sale and marketing of air transport. Under our bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), air service coverage is limited to aircraft repair and maintenance services and specialized air services. For more information, please contact us. In this article, we measure the impact of the Open Skies Air Services Agreement (OSA) on the bilateral flow of passengers and the export of services and import trade for a country.