The US Government's push to reach open skies agreements with Asian countries has met with further success after South Korea agreed to a new bilateral air services pact with Washington.

The two sides reached an accord on an open skies arrangement after two days of talks in Seoul. The new air agreement gives US and South Korean carriers unlimited destinations and frequencies, as well as fifth freedom beyond rights in principle, although that depends on signing deals with third parties.

The accord now limits South Korea to beyond rights to Brazil, although Oh Yang-jin, an official in the transportation ministry in Seoul, says that there are hopes to conclude agreements with Argentina and Mexico. "It is useless now because we don't have sufficient fifth freedom access to other countries," he adds.

The agreement also clears the way for codesharing between US and South Korean carriers, the use of wet-lease aircraft and the change of airport gates. The USA has reached pacts with five other Asia-Pacific countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Source: Flight International