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Archive for Saturday, December 12, 2009

U.S., Japan forge open skies agreement

December 12, 2009

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— The U.S. and Japan reached a landmark agreement Friday to relax limits on flights between the two countries, opening up the possibility of broader cross-border airline alliances and more options for air travelers.

Under the agreement, which still must be finalized by both governments, airlines from both countries would be allowed to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand for both passenger and cargo services without limitations on the number of U.S. or Japanese carriers that can fly between the two countries or the number of flights they can operate.

The agreement also would remove restrictions on capacity and pricing, and provide unlimited opportunities for cooperative marketing arrangements between U.S. and Japanese carriers.

Delta and United Airlines are already allowed to serve Japanese cities, and Delta’s acquisition of Northwest Airlines last year increased its Asian presence. But U.S. passenger airlines have been generally limited in the routes and number of flights they can operate to Japan.

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