U.S. Airlines for Open Skies released the following statement in opposition to the “Fair and Open Skies Act of 2019” today:

“For nearly three decades, Open Skies agreements – first pioneered and proliferated by the United States – have greatly expanded passenger and cargo flights to and from the U.S., promoting increased travel and trade, enhancing productivity, and spurring high-quality job opportunities and economic growth. Moreover, they form the foundation on which today’s e-commerce economy stands. Without the global logistical networks enabled by Open Skies and created by cargo airlines, the just-in-time shipments that consumers have grown to expect, and global manufacturers depend on, would be impossible.

“The ‘Fair and Open Skies Act of 2019’ would unilaterally impose new requirements on otherwise qualified foreign air carriers seeking to fly to the U.S. under an existing Open Skies agreement and invite retaliation by our Open Skies partners. The legislation also conflates two incomparable markets – commercial aviation and maritime shipping – and, in doing so, threatens the many benefits that Open Skies agreements bring to American citizens and businesses.

“In no uncertain terms, the potential downsides of this legislation – retaliation by our Open Skies partners and the unraveling of the existing Open Skies framework – far outweigh any perceived problem that the legislation seeks to solve. For these reasons, we strongly oppose this legislation and urge Congress to do the same.”