The USA has signed an open-skies agreement with the Gulf state of Bahrain and hopes to extend the agreement to the other three states that have shareholdings in Gulf Air. Discussions have begun with Oman, while an outline agreement was reached with the United Arab Emirates in April. There have not yet been any negotiations arranged with Qatar. Delta Air Lines will begin daily services from Atlanta to Guadalajara in July. It is also increasing services to Mexico City to five daily flights and beginning daily services from Los Angeles to Mexico City. TACA is launching non-stop services from New York Kennedy to Guatemala City, Guatemala, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, using Airbus A320s. The service runs between June and September. Air Europe has been given a one-year initial exemption by the USA to begin scheduled services from Pisa and Venice to New York, with flights starting this month. Aer Lingus has launched services to Los Angeles, using its new Airbus A330-200. Three flights a week are initially being operated, increasing to five weekly flights by 2000. United Airlines is seeking approval to launch daily services from Denver to London Heathrow. The airline wants to launch the new service in April 2000 using Boeing 777s, pending renegotiation of the US/UK bilateral. British Airways launches twice weekly services from London Gatwick to Tripoli on 3 June, using Boeing 737s, following the lifting of United Nations sanctions on Libyan flights. EasyJet's Geneva-based division, easyJet Switzerland, will launch low-cost services to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Nice from 28 July. KLM will eliminate the Rio de Janeiro stop on flights from Amsterdam to Sao Paulo in March 2000. Italian partner Alitalia's services to Rio from Rome and Milan will be used instead. KLM flights will go directly to Sao Paulo, with an extension to Santiago, Chile. This will replace the extension of the airline's Amsterdam-Buenos Aires services.

Source: Flight International