Colombia became the United States’ 100th Open-Skies partner yesterday as representatives of the two countries reached agreement to liberalize U.S.-Colombia air services for airlines of both countries.
“Reaching 100 Open-Skies agreements is a major milestone in U.S. aviation history,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Since the first Open-Skies agreement was reached with the Netherlands in 1992, nations all over the world have come to recognize the benefits of a free market in international aviation services. Travelers, shippers, airlines and economies all over the world have benefited from the competitive pricing and more convenient service that Open Skies have made possible.”
Once full Open Skies takes effect at the end of 2012, airlines from the United States and Colombia will be allowed to select routes, destinations and prices for both passenger and cargo service based on consumer demand and market conditions.
Significant liberalizations will take effect in advance of full Open Skies. When the terms of the agreement are applied, restrictions on all-cargo flights will be lifted immediately, and carriers will be able to begin operating additional passenger flights with additional passenger services phased in over the next two years. Negotiations were concluded Nov. 11 in Bogota, Colombia.