Changes To The Aviation Agreement Between France And The United States

Aviation talks between France and the United States were held on 18 and 19 October in Paris.

These talks mark a further step in the process started in 1998 with the signature of a new aviation agreement between the two countries. This agreement paved the way for essential redistribution of traffic rights between French and American carriers, while significantly boosting growth in transatlantic traffic. The agreement also fostered the development of a strategic partnership between Air France and Delta Air Lines, which gave rise to the SkyTeam alliance.

New measures taken by the French and American authorities confirm these trends. They have mainly resulted in a shorter transition period, which should have ended in April 2003 and during which the capacity offered by American carriers was still controlled. The aim is to remove these quotas by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

The need to reinforce cooperation within SkyTeam to better meet customers` needs and to compete with the other main alliances on an equal footing led Air France, Delta, Alitalia and CSA Czech Airlines to apply for antitrust immunity from the U.S. authorities on 15 August 2001, which is currently being examined.