The U.S. and U.K. have reached an agreement that will
maintain open commercial aviation access between the two countries after the
U.K leaves the European Union.
The deal "ensures that planes flying from the U.K. will
continue to enjoy the same access they currently have with the U.S.," said
the U.K. Department for Transport in a statement.
The two countries have been in talks over the matter for
more than a year. Currently, U.K. and U.S. airlines enjoy unfettered access to
fly between the two countries under the open skies agreement that the U.S. and
EU secured in 2007. Assuring that such access remains in place after Britain
departs the EU has been a priority for airlines as well as the governments of
In a statement, trade group Airlines for America (A4A)
applauded the deal, saying that it will provide the legal framework for the
more than 20 million passengers who fly annually between the U.S. and U.K.
"Today's announcement provides much needed certainty
that when the U.K. exits the European Union there will be no disruption to air
service for the traveling and shipping public," said A4A CEO Nick Calio. "Continued
connectivity also will benefit the 720,000 men and women employed by the U.S.
The U.K.'s departure from the EU is scheduled to take place
on March 29.