The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 15, 2001

Fact Sheet
Poland: Open Skies

The United States and Poland will sign an Open Skies air transport agreement on June 18, 2001.  The accord demonstrates the growing ties between the United States and Poland.  It provides a basis for the development of significant new commercial opportunities for both counties and facilitates new cooperation between U.S. and Polish airlines.

Compared to the existing agreement that was reached in 1988, the new agreement represents a substantial expansion in air transport opportunities for airlines of both countries.  By the time the agreement becomes fully effective in January 2004, U.S. airlines will have access to all of Poland while Polish airlines will have access to the entire United States.  Last year, some 355,077 passengers traveled between the United States and Poland on the Polish national airline, LOT.  There will be no limits on frequency or the number of flights.

Open Skies is the aviation regime that most benefits airlines, as well as the traveling and shipping public in both Poland and in the United States. Open Skies agreements liberalize bilateral aviation relationships by allowing airlines to make commercial decisions with minimal government intervention.

We hope that Poland will join us in supporting further aviation liberalization throughout Europe and around the world.  Open Skies agreements provide for open routes, capacity, frequencies, designations and pricing, as well as opportunities for cooperative marketing arrangements, including codesharing and airline alliances.  An Open Skies regime offers the best environment for developing markets to attract additional air services for the benefit of travelers, shippers, tourism and the broader economies of both countries.

The U.S.-Poland Agreement includes all substantive provisions of the U.S. Open Skies model text, including open route rights, unrestricted capacity and frequency, double-disapproval pricing, liberal charter arrangements, open code-sharing opportunities and self-handling provisions.  A transitional annex limits, until January 1, 2004, certain groundhandling and route rights.

The Agreement is our nineteenth Open Skies air transport agreement with a European country, and our sixth with an EU candidate country.


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