February 7, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea McCarthy; amccarthy@hamiltonps.com(202) 617-3888

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USAOS Calls On Secretaries Tillerson And Chao To Protect U.S. Open Skies Agreements; Reject Demands Of Legacy Carriers

Washington D.C. – Today, the U.S. Airlines for Open Skies Coalition (USAOS) sent letters to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao highlighting the benefits of U.S. Open Skies agreements. Specifically, the Coalition urged Secretaries Tillerson and Chao to reject the demands of Delta, United, and American (legacy carriers) that access to U.S. routes for airlines from two U.S. Open Skies partners – the United Arab Emirates (Emirates and Etihad) and Qatar (Qatar Airways) – be frozen.

The letters note that although the “legacy carriers claim such action is a justified response to alleged subsidies the foreign carriers have received from their home governments,” they fail to cite a specific violation and “have not pursued the established dispute settlement procedures under the Open Skies agreements and those administered by the DOT.”

The letters reiterate that the framework of Open Skies agreements “supports U.S. jobs, reduces costs for airline passengers, facilitates U.S. exports, strengthens our national security, and promotes competition in the airline industry.”

The full text of the letter to Secretary Tillerson is included below and can be viewed online here. The letter to Secretary Chao can be viewed here.