29 MARCH 2010
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EUROPEAN AIRLINES could soon be able to take majority control of US carriers and also bid for American government contracts following a deal struck on last Thursday (25 March). However any real change will hinge on approval by the US Congress, a far from certain prospect. The new agreement confirms that the 2007 ‘Open Skies’ agreement will remain in place indefinitely. It also increases US-EU co-operation in aviation security, safety, competition, and ease of travel and provides greater protections for American carriers from local restrictions on night flights at European airports. Essentially airlines can fly between any EU city and any US city. The fly in the ointment is that United States limits foreign ownership of US airlines to 25%, which is due to change if Congress approves the measures. United Airlines has backed the move and Continental says it is in favour of liberalisation. http://europa.eu
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