Open skies agreement starts to bear fruit: Delta/KLM/Air France routes to open

Much of the hullabaloo about the Open Skies Agreement between the United States and the EU died down after consumers realized that prices won’t be drastically affected. Despite speculation that 10£ transatlantic tickets were on the horizon, marketing and the low-cost-carrier airline network have a long way to go before we see anything like that.

Another benefit to the OSA though is the available collaboration among carriers for landing slots. Alliances such as Skyteam and Oneworld now can substitute their partner flights in place of older, less used routes. For example, if British Airways’ LHR-JFK flight isn’t doing so hot, they can cancel the slot and give it to Cathay Pacific for LHR-HKG.

Why do we care? This means alliances can shuffle volume between EU and transatlantic sectors and create more routes across the pond. In the most recent venture, Delta has teamed up with Air France and KLM, permitting Delta to use several of Air France’s hubs across Europe. Directly, this means more non-stop flights from the US to EU. I would venture that more supply means lower prices, but with the volatility in the airline market these days, who knows?