U.S., Japan reach "open skies" aviation agreement

10:24, December 13, 2009      

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The United States and Japan on Friday reached an "open skies" agreement designed to remove restrictions on passenger and cargo air services between the two countries.

"Once this agreement takes effect, American and Japanese consumers, airlines and economies will enjoy the benefits of competitive pricing and more convenient service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement released late Friday.

The aviation agreement was finalized after five rounds of negotiations between representatives from both countries, including five-day talks in Washington D.C. this week.

The agreement would remove restrictions on routes and destinations as well as capacity and pricing for airlines from both countries and allow the carriers to adjust flight numbers based on demand rather than imposed limits.

The deal, widely hailed as a boost to the two economies at a time of financial crisis and economic downturn, is likely to prompt U.S. and Japanese airlines to forge joint ventures for more efficient and profitable air services.

It remains unknown when the new agreement will take effect.

Source: Xinhua
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