10:46 AM

DFW International Airport Lauds New Open Skies Agreement Between U.S. and Japan

New pact to open air routes, promote trade and competition

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (December 15, 2009) – DFW International Airport congratulated the U.S. Government for its work in reaching a new “Open Skies” agreement with Japan, which was announced late Friday. The Open Skies agreement would remove some of the restrictions on air travel between the two countries, making it easier for U.S. carriers to actively compete in the lucrative Asian and transpacific market. The existing U.S.- Japan aviation agreement is one of the most restrictive for U.S. carriers.

“This new pact is an outstanding achievement by our government and the government of Japan,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. “In opening up the skies between our two nations, we will be able to pursue better international service, better flight schedules and more competitive prices for passengers who travel overseas.”

Under the Open Skies treaty, U.S. airlines will be freed from pricing, routing and frequency limits which currently exist in the Japan market, and they could be granted more landing slots at Tokyo's two main airports, which would result in much better access to Asian markets from Japan.

The Open Skies agreement means that DFW's major hub carrier, American Airlines, will be able to work more closely with its oneworld® Alliance partner Japan Air Lines and apply for antitrust immunity. That immunity cooperation would mean more benefits for North Texas travelers including more flights between DFW and Japan, improved service to points beyond Japan, and potential service to Tokyo's close-in Haneda Airport.

Back in March of 2008, a new Open Skies Agreement with the European Union allowed DFW to gain direct service to London’s Heathrow Airport, a critical international hub that had long been constrained from accepting flights from newer airports such as DFW. 

“We’ve seen first hand the benefits that an Open Skies agreement can have here in North Texas,” said Fegan. “We now have three flights a day to London Heathrow as a testament to that. We look forward to pursuing even more and better service to Japan and the Far East.”

The timetable on when the Open Skies treaty with Japan will take effect depends on when the Department of Transportation approves antitrust immunity applications to be filed, and that could take anywhere from six to twelve months.