Michael O'Leary's ambitions depend on the recently struck open skies deal which gives European Union carriers the right to fly from any city in the EU to any airport in the USA. US carriers will also be able to pick up passengers from EU cities and fly them to other EU destinations, although the deal does not allow European carriers to operate domestically in the USA. The first stage of the agreement comes into effect in October, with a further series of negotiations on further liberalisation to begin in January. If the controversial issue of foreign ownership of US airlines is not settled to Europe's satisfaction by mid-2010, the whole deal could yet be terminated.

Source: Flight International