The change in the attitude of national airlines in open skies agreements is a sudden shift after decades of insistence on them. Since 1992, the United States has signed more than 100 open skies agreements, a policy that generally receives the strongest support from domestic airlines. Last year, Delta chief Richard Anderson called on the Japanese government to expand competition. „Historically, shifts toward protectionism have hurt markets and stifled growth and job creation,” the United States Travel Association said in a statement this week. „Travel in and out of the United States has recently been attacked by protectionist anti-competitive forces, and the step against the open skies is the latest example.” The United States has made open skis with more than 100 partners from all regions of the world and at all levels of economic development. In addition to the bilateral open skies agreements, the United States negotiated two multilateral open skies agreements: (1) the 2001 Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transport (MALIAT) with New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and Chile, to which Samoa, Tonga and Mongolia subsequently joined; and (2) the 2007 Air Services Agreement with the European Community and its 27 Member States. Currently, consumers share the benefits of open ski flights. Many cite that they experience deep discounts and extra comfort. Many aviation organizations have expressed concern about the loss of jobs due to specific national policies and agreements. The jury is not yet informed of the adoption, elimination or modification of the „open skies” guidelines for each agreement. Last week, Delta, American and United executives met with several government officials, including Transportation Minister Anthony Foxx and Trade Minister Penny Pritzker, and called for renegotiating existing open skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Proponents of the open skies point out that U.S. airlines have received public assistance in the past.
Delta, American and United, for example, have benefited from a broad exemption for cartels and abuse of dominance in order to create joint ventures with competing airlines on certain routes to Europe and Asia. The Brattle Group recently completed a large study that found that air traffic would increase and fares would decrease if existing restrictions were lifted. At the request of the European Commission, we analysed the economic impact of creating a single and open air transport market for Europe and the United States. We have come to the conclusion that an open aviation area of the EU and the United States is an international political concept aimed at liberalizing the rules and regulations of the international aviation industry in order to create a market-free environment for this sector. Its priority objective is to minimize government interventions, as they apply to passengers, freight, routes, destinations, ticket and transport volumes and costs, as well as regular and charter services.