Open Skies

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A major debate regarding international aviation policy is underway with lasting repercussions possible for travelers and travel workers. American, Delta and United Airlines are challenging the United States’ current Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. These three legacy airlines are calling for our federal government to freeze expansion of the Gulf carriers—Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways—into the U.S. market.

Background on Open Skies Agreements

  • Open Skies agreements permit unrestricted market access in international aviation. These agreements eliminate government control over routing, frequency and pricing.
  • Since 1992, the U.S. has negotiated Open Skies agreements with more than 100 countries.  The policy enjoys strong bipartisan support.
  • Open Skies has expanded international air service to the U.S., increased inbound international travel and benefited American travelers and the travel industry.
  • Open Skies is the cornerstone of airline competition, delivering new choices for travelers and billions of dollars in savings in lower airfares.

We Stand on Behalf of Travelers and Travel Employees

  • Open Skies agreements should be preserved and evaluated on the many benefits to the U.S. economy and the entire U.S. travel industry, not just their impact on a singular segment of our industry.
  • Challenging these agreements with two important, growing centers of global aviation puts the entire Open Skies framework at risk—and that could have a serious impact on our economy and American jobs.
  • We believe in expanding competition and air service, not restricting it, for the benefit of travelers and our economy as a whole.

What You Can Do Today

  • Tell Washington that Open Skies Agreements work for the American economy and the American traveler.
  • Remind government officials that more competition and more choice for travelers is unquestionably good for American travelers and drives millions of international travelers to the U.S to visit and do business. 
  • Submit your comments to the federal government with just a few clicks.

Together, we can prevent the undermining of long-standing, enormously successful U.S. Open Skies agreements. Help support a policy that has spurred tremendous growth for travel to and within the United States, while providing so many local communities with good jobs and economic growth.