Open Skies refers to bilateral or multilateral agreements between states in order to liberalise the airline industry and minimise governmental interventions (US Department of State, 2009 1).
Chicago Convention (formally known as Convention on International Civil Aviation) held in 1944 was aimed to developed the civil aviation industry and introduced nine freedoms of the air.
Freedoms of the air (Rodrigue, 2009 2)
1. The freedom to fly over the territory of a foreign country without landing
2. The freedom to land in the territory of a foreign country for non-traffic purpose; ie, refuelling, emergency landing etc
3. The freedom to carry passengers from home country to a foreign country for commercial purpose.
4. The freedom to carry passengers from a foreign country to home country for commercial purposes
5. The freedom to carry passengers between two foreign countries for commercial purposes
6. The freedom to carry passengers between two foreign countries via home country for commercial purpose
7. The freedom to operate an aircraft originated from and destined to a foreign country.
8. The freedom to operate an aircraft, which originated from or destined to home country, between two domestic airports in a foreign country
9. The freedom to operate an aircraft between two foreign points. Also known as ‘cabotage’
Pictorial Representation of Freedoms of the air
Picture embeded from Corssing the Skies (2009 3)
Benefits (US Department of State, 2009 1)
- Free Market Competition
Free rights on international routes, capacity, frequency, aircraft types and number of airlines operating on a single route
- Equal opportunity for competition
Charges are same for all airlines and costs completely depend on airline.
Opportunities such as sales, marketing etc are open for all airlines
- Pricing depend on market forces
Governments do not decide the minimum fare.
- Corporative Marketing Arrangement
Code-sharing and leasing
- Safety, Security and dispute resolution
Each state is responsible for safety for all foreign carriers as stated on the agreement
According to the agreements, any dispute between states is resolved relatively on a fair basis
- Cargo rights
Carrying cargo to a third country via a second country
- Charter operations
Charter operations can be carried out between states
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