Airlines give mixed reaction to open skies agreement

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European Union (EU) transport ministers have reached agreement on an open skies deal with the USA at a meeting in Brussels today.

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A spokeswoman for the European Council of Ministers confirms an agreement has been reached, but could not provide further details.

Ministers are reported to have agreed to push the start date of the agreement back from October this year to March next year.

Reaction so far has been mixed with British Airways claiming the deal is “a poor agreement for Britain and Europe”, while the Association of European Airlines says it is “good news for passengers”.

EU ministers met today to discuss the preliminary deal reached by US and European Commission negotiators at the start of the month.

UK transport minister Douglas Alexander had previously said the deal falls short of providing the level of access to the US market that European carriers are seeking, but also cited serious consequences if the UK rejected the proposal.

Kieran Daly thinks alliances are the key to what will happen next. Read his blog.