JEAIL > Volume 2(1); 2009 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2009

U.S.-E.U. Open Skies Deal and its Implication for the Liberalization of International Air Transport Services: A Chinese Perspective

Gong Yu
Xiamen University, China
Faculty of Law, Xiamen University, 361005 Fujian, China
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As the primary mode of long distance transport between nations, international air transport plays an essential role in the development and prosperity of the global economy. While other services sectors have benefited immensely from the multilateral trading system, the air transport services have long been dominated by restrictive bilateral arrangements since the Chicago Conference of 1944. Following the successful deregulation of its domestic air transport regimes, the United States initiated an Open Skies campaign toward international air services liberalization in 1990s. The conclusion of the U.S.- EU Open Skies Agreement in April 2007 represents a landmark in the liberalization of international air services. This historic deal not only heralded a new era in transatlantic aviation, but also strengthened the path-dependence of air transport services liberalization. As a major economic power and potential aviation power, China would benefit immensely from the liberalization of air services. However, based on actual conditions, a controllable and phased-in approach toward liberalization is a more rational choice for China at present.

Keywords : Open Skies, Air Transportation, Five Freedoms, Bilateral Regimes

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