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Uruguay, U.S. Sign Open Skies Agreement

Posted: October 20, 2004

Audio:  U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein

Audio:  Minister Didier Opertti


Uruguayan Minister of External Affairs Dr. Didier Opertti and United States Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein signing bilateral Open Skies agreement, October 20, 2004. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

Uruguayan Minister of External Affairs Dr. Didier Opertti and United States Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein after signing bilateral Open Skies agreement, October 20, 2004. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]Uruguay's Minister of External Affairs Dr. Didier Opertti and United States Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein signed today a bilateral Open Skies agreement. This new agreement replaces the outdated air transport agreement of 1946 between the two countries.

The general purpose of Open Skies agreements is to liberalize international aviation markets and to minimize government intervention to facilitate growth and competition in air transportation. This specific agreement modernizes U.S.-Uruguayan aviation relations by allowing airlines to make commercial decisions with minimal government intervention.

It provides for open routes, capacity, frequencies, designations, and pricing, as well as opportunities for cooperative marketing arrangements, including code-sharing. It also allows airlines to perform international all-cargo operations with no connection to their homeland.

Establishing Open Skies as the basis of U.S.-Uruguayan aviation relations is an important step toward spurring trade, investment, tourism, and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

With this signing, Uruguay becomes the 66th Open Skies partner with the U.S. and the 13th in the hemisphere.

The U.S. aviation sector supports this Open Skies agreement with Uruguay. American Airlines and United Airlines currently conduct daily one-stop service to Montevideo through Buenos Aires. On October 31, United Airlines will renew its daily service from Montevideo to Chicago via Buenos Aires. This summer, American Airlines will commence thrice weekly non-stop service from Montevideo to Miami with Boeing 767 aircraft. It is hoped that Uruguayan airlines will also soon take advantage of this opportunity by opening new routes to the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein delivered the following remarks, in Spanish, during the signing ceremonies at Palacio Santos:

U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein delivering his remarks at the signing of the U.S.-Uruguay bilateral Open Skies agreement, October 20, 2004. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi] [AUDIO]   Me complace participar en la firma de este convenio bilateral de Cielos Abiertos, entre los Estados Unidos y Uruguay. El mismo sustituirá al convenio de transporte aéreo de 1946 celebrado entre los Estados Unidos y Uruguay.

La finalidad general de los convenios de Cielos Abiertos, es liberalizar los mercados internacionales de aviación y minimizar la intervención del gobierno para facilitar el crecimiento y la competencia en el transporte aéreo. Este convenio específico moderniza las relaciones de aviación entre los Estados Unidos y Uruguay, permitiendo a las compañías aéreas, tomar decisiones comerciales con mínima intervención del gobierno.

Dispone rutas abiertas, capacidad, frecuencias, designaciones y fijación de precios, así como oportunidades para acuerdos de cooperación sobre comercialización, inclusive códigos compartidos. Permite también, a las compañías aéreas, realizar operaciones internacionales de carga sin conexión con sus países de origen.

Establecer Cielos Abiertos, como la base de las relaciones de aviación entre los Estados Unidos y Uruguay es un paso importante para estimular el comercio, la inversión, el turismo y el intercambio cultural entre nuestras dos naciones.

Con esta firma, Uruguay se convierte en el 66º socio de Cielos Abiertos con los Estados Unidos y el 13º en el hemisferio.

El sector de aviación de los Estados Unidos apoya ese convenio de Cielos Abiertos con Uruguay. En la actualidad, American Airlines y United Airlines cumplen servicios directos diarios a Montevideo a través de Buenos Aires. El 31 de octubre United Airlines reanudará el servicio diario desde Montevideo a Chicago vía Buenos Aires. Este verano, American Airlines comenzará tres servicios semanales sin escala desde Montevideo a Miami con un Boeing 767. Esperamos que las compañías aéreas uruguayas también aprovechen en el futuro cercano esta oportunidad abriendo nuevas rutas a los Estados Unidos.


Key provisions include:

1. Free Market Competition
No restrictions on: international route rights (including "intermediate," "beyond" and "behind" traffic); number of designated airlines; capacity; frequencies; types of aircraft.

2. Pricing Determined by Market Forces
"Double-disapproval" pricing permits disapproval of a fare under the agreement only on specified grounds intended to ensure competition, and only if both governments concur.

3. Fair and Equal Opportunity to Compete
For example:
· All designated carriers may provide their own ground-handling services ("self handling") or choose among competing providers.
· All carriers (designated and non-designated) of both countries may establish sales offices in the other country, and convert and remit earnings in hard currency promptly and without restrictions.
· Airlines and freight consolidators may provide or arrange for ground transport of international air cargo and are guaranteed reasonable access to customs services.
· Airport user charges are non-discriminatory and based on costs.
· Computer reservation system (CRS) displays are transparent and non-discriminatory.

4. Cooperative Marketing Arrangements
Designated airlines may enter into code-sharing or leasing arrangements with airlines of either country, or with those of third countries, subject to usual regulations. An optional provision authorizes code-sharing between airlines and surface transportation companies.

5. Provisions for Dispute Settlement and Consultation
Model procedures ensure that differences are addressed fairly and expeditiously.

6. Liberal Charter Arrangements
Carriers may choose to operate under the charter regulations of either country.

7. Safety and Security
The agreements expand economic opportunities while ensuring implementation of the highest standards of international aviation safety and security.

8. Optional 7th Freedom All-Cargo Rights
Optional provisions enable airlines of each country to operate all-cargo services between the other country and third countries, via flights not linked to the airline's home country.



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