Saudi Arabia’s struggles with terrorism are well known, but that hasn’t stopped the United States from signing an “Open Skies” agreement with the nation.
Soon, the Saudis will have “unrestricted” access to U.S. airspace, according to the U.S. State Department website:
“The United States-Saudi Arabia Open Skies agreement will, following a transition period, permit unrestricted air service by the airlines of both countries between and beyond the other’s territory, eliminating restrictions on how often the carriers fly, the kind of aircraft they use and the prices they charge. This agreement will allow for the strengthening and expansion of our strong trade and tourism links with Saudi Arabia, benefitting U.S. and Saudi Arabian businesses and travelers by expanding opportunities for air services and encouraging vigorous price competition by airlines, while preserving our commitments to aviation safety and security. …”
CNS News notes that “the agreement means Saudi airlines may fly from any point in the kingdom to any point in the United States, and that U.S. airlines may fly from any point here to any airport in Saudi Arabia.”
U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James B. Smith and Dr. Faisal bin Hamad Al-Sugair, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Director of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, signed the deal on May 28.
The agreement, which the U.S. has with approximately 100 other nations, is expected to be fully implemented in three years, according to CNS.