Operational and regulatory factors prevent the opening of international air traffic. The contract disappointed European airlines because they felt chosen for US airlines: while US airlines are allowed to operate flights within the EU (when it is an all-cargo flight or a passenger flight, if this is the second leg of a flight launched in the United States), European airlines are not allowed to fly intra-U.S. flights, nor can they acquire a controlling interest in the an American operator.  The agreement replaced and replaced the old open skies agreements between the United States and some European countries. Open skies agreements have significantly increased international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States, encouraging more travel and trade, increasing productivity and boosting employment opportunities and quality economic growth. Open skies agreements do this by eliminating state intervention in airline business decisions about routes, capacity and prices, and by enabling airlines to provide consumers with more affordable, convenient and efficient services. The agreement also contained a clear roadmap, which contains a non-exhaustive list of « priority interests » for negotiating a second phase agreement. The agreement also strengthens cooperation between the two sides in the following areas. 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. The initial agreement was signed on April 30, 2007 in Washington, D.C. The agreement entered into force on March 30, 2008. The second phase was signed in June 2010 and has been applied on an interim basis until all signatories are ratified.  « 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. For more information on the four open skies agreements and other specific national agreements, visit the Foreign Ministry`s website.