Fly America Open Skies Agreement

The biggest exception to the Fly America Act is the Open Skies Agreement. On October 6, 2010, the U.S. and European Union (EU) Open Skies Air Services Agreement was issued by the U.S. General Services Administration, which provides a comprehensive explanation of the current multilateral agreement to allow federally funded qualified travellers to travel with both European Union and U.S. airlines. A list of the current Member States of the European Union is available on the Europa website. There are also Open Skies agreements with Australia, Switzerland and Japan. The agreement with the European Union (EU) authorizes the use of a European airline for travel outside the United States. Iceland and Norway are not members of the EU, but are members of the EU Air Services Agreement. It is the only one of these four agreements that allows an origin or destination in a third country as long as the flight in the EU is over. The Fly America Act does not prohibit civilian-funded travel on air carriers linked to countries with a qualified “bilateral or multilateral agreement” with the United States; However, travellers must complete a declaration of the existence of such an agreement. Although the United States has more than 100 open skies agreements, few are considered qualified “bilateral or multilateral agreements”; these are agreements with the European Union (including Norway and Iceland, third countries), Australia, Saudi Arabia,[1] Switzerland and Japan.

[2] A full list of open-ski partners is available from the U.S. State Department. [3] Open skies agreements are bilateral or multilateral agreements between the U.S. government and foreign governments that allow travelers to use foreign airlines from those countries for state-funded international travel. A list of countries with which the United States has open-ski agreements is available on the U.S. State Department website. Agreements with Australia, Switzerland and Japan allow the use of an Australian, Swiss or Japanese air carrier for international travel between the United States and these countries as long as there is no “City Pair” fare between the cities of origin and destination. Codeshare agreements with foreign airlines, in which U.S. airlines purchase or have the right to sell a ticket on a foreign airline, comply with the provisions of the Fly America Act. The ticket or documentation of an e-ticket must include the US-Carrier`s code and flight number. Note: Some funding sources may not recognize code sharing as complying with the Fly America Act rules.

While the policy of sourceing funds is more restrictive than the policy of travel to universities, the policy is more restrictive. The most well-known exception to the Fly America Act is when there is an open skies agreement between the U.S. government and the government outside. The “open skies” agreement authorizes the use of a foreign airline if that airline is an airline of a Member State or between two points outside the United States, subject to certain restrictions. Delta, for example, has entered into a codeshare agreement with Air France for Paris, France. If the boarding pass (flight coupon) or E-Ticket identifies a flight as a DL ticket, the requirements of federal travel regulations would be met, even if the flight took place with an Air France aircraft. However, if the boarding pass (flight coupon) or E-Ticket identifies the flight as AF- then the requirements of the federal travel regulations would not be met. For more information on the four open skies agreements and other specific national agreements, visit the Foreign Ministry`s website. More general information on open ski agreements can also be found in Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) bulletin 11-02 [PDF – 112 KB] and Bulletin 12-04 [PDF – 82 KB]. The Fly America Act is a federal regulation that requires the use of U.S. airlines for travel reimbursed by subsidies and contracts

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