Tuesday, May 01, 2007

U.S/EU Agreement Opens Transatlantic Skies

With one stroke of the pen, travel to Europe just got cheaper. In a landmark deal years in the making, the United States and the European Union signed an agreement to open up transatlantic markets, allowing airlines in the European Union to fly to any U.S city and vice versa. Which means, in March 2008, competition between airlines could equal lower fares for customers.

The "open skies" deal that removed World War II-era barriers to service appears initially weighted toward European carriers, some of whom have begun to recognize what they anticipate will be new business opportunities.

"Already, the European airline industry is feeling its effects in a positive way, with plans for new services and signs of a much more flexible and dynamic approach to airline investment among European carriers," Barrot said.

As a result, several overseas airlines have been active in pursuing new routes. European low-cost airline Ryanair is exploring the possibility of transatlantic service between Dublin, Frankfurt and Barcelona to New York, Dallas and San Francisco.

Virgin Atlantic plans to expand vigorously, possibly adding flights to the United States from Paris, Zurich and other cities within a couple of years. Ireland's Aer Lingus is also planning new routes.

For the quote source and the entire article, click here.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

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