DIPLOMATIC ECONOMY

United States And Ecuador Sign Open Skies Agreement

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By Godson Umejiego, Bureau Chief, The Americas

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Holguín signed an Open Skies Agreement between the two countries on November 16.

Open Skies Air Transport agreements establish legal frameworks for international air transport to facilitate growth of an efficient, market-based international civil aviation system.

This bilateral Open Skies Agreement enables the expansion of passenger and cargo flights between Ecuador and the United States, thereby promoting increased travel and trade, and ultimately spurring high quality job opportunities and economic growth. The two sides have been applying the terms of the agreement on the basis of comity and reciprocity since the negotiations concluded in December 2021. The agreement will enter into force upon a further exchange of diplomatic notes.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Open Skies Act. The United States has reciprocal Open Skies air transport agreements in place with more than 130 partners. Over 70 per cent of international departures from the United States now fly to Open Skies partners. According to the US Travel Association, 75 million international visitors spend nearly US$250 billion in the United States annually, benefiting American jobs across the aviation, travel, and tourism sectors, including hotels, restaurants, attractions, retailers, and domestic air carriers.

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