A new air service agreement signed Friday by the U.S. and Mexico is expected to increase the number of commercial flights between the countries.

Under the deal, which was negotiated over the course of more than two years, the there will be no limits on the number of carriers that can serve any U.S.-Mexico city pair, a U.S. Department of Transportation spokesperson said. Such terms are a marked changed from the existing aviation agreement between the two countries, which limits the number of carriers to two or three from each country per route.

Mexico’s senate must still ratify the agreement before it can take effect.

In a statement issued jointly, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of State John Kerry said the agreement would benefit not only U.S. and Mexican airlines, but also travelers, businesses, airports and various cities and towns.

“By allowing air carriers to better meet increasing demand in both countries, the agreement will help drive economic growth in sectors beyond aviation, including tourism and manufacturing,” the statement says.

Along with dropping barriers to commercial air service, the deal also liberalizes air cargo service between the U.S. and Mexico.

In a statement released Friday, JetBlue praised the agreement, saying that it will put the company a step closer to expanding its service to Mexico. JetBlue currently flies to Cancun and Mexico City from several U.S. locations. It also has focused its international service on the Caribbean and Central America, serviing 17 countries or territories in the region.

“We look forward to working with DOT to remove the remaining barriers to entry that smaller carriers like JetBlue continue to face when expanding," CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.


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