Today in Bern, Switzerland, officials of the United States and Switzerland signed an enhanced Open Skies Air Transport Agreement, replacing the previous agreement signed in 1995. The new agreement entered into force upon signature.
The new agreement includes all of the essential elements of Open Skies and adds the right for airlines of both countries to operate all-cargo flights to third countries without a connection to the home country (“7th freedom rights”). In addition, the new agreement permits Swiss airlines to be owned and controlled by nationals of any Member State of the European Union and extends to Swiss airlines the opportunity to compete under the “Fly America Act” for certain U.S. government civilian agency-funded passenger and cargo traffic between the United States and Switzerland and between non-U.S. points.
Open Skies agreements have vastly expanded international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States, promoting increased travel and trade, enhancing productivity, and spurring high-quality job opportunities and economic growth. Open Skies agreements do this by eliminating government interference in the commercial decisions of air carriers about routes, capacity, and pricing, freeing carriers to provide more affordable, convenient, and efficient air service for consumers. Open Skies agreements, including the new accord with Switzerland, contain robust provisions to ensure aviation safety and security.
The United States has achieved Open Skies with more than 90 partners from every region of the world and at every level of economic development.