Press: EU backs open skies

European Union transport ministers have voted unanimously for the “open skies” aviation deal with the US, aimed at liberalising transatlantic air travel.The ministers voted today in Brussels.

The UK was said to be seeking concessions with pressure bearing from UK airlines. They wanted limits lifted on European investment in US airlines. Despite the reservations the deal went through.

Open skies reform would challenge British Airways’ dominance at Heathrow airport, Europe’s busiest hub but according to the BBC, supporters are saying the deal will boost competition and lead to lower air fares.

EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot is reported to have described the deal as one of “great political and economic importance.”

“The fact that everyone in the Council (of transport ministers) has been able to welcome the outcome is to be commended,” he said.

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Both British Airways and Virgin have stated their strong objections to the deal.


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