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UK ‘threatened to pull out of Open Skies’

21 February 2011

The UK threatened to pull out of the trans-Atlantic Open Skies air travel agreement if the US government did not approve British Airways’ alliance with American Airlines, according to leaked cables revealed via WikiLeaks.

A British official also warned that Spain might see progress on extending the Open Skies agreement as “‘closely linked’” with the BA/AA alliance, which also includes Spanish flag carrier Iberia.

The warnings centred on discussions around the second stage of the Open Skies agreement, which involved relaxing restrictions on ownership of US airlines and on European carriers’ rights to fly within the US.