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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

United States, Ethiopia Sign Open-Skies Aviation Agreement

U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Maria Cino and Haile Asegide, State Minister of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Infrastructure, today signed a full Open-Skies agreement that will permit U.S. and Ethiopian airlines to operate air services between the two countries without restriction. The agreement was reached after two days of talks last week in Washington.

“Open Skies will allow Ethiopia to serve as a vital gateway into and from Africa, connecting travelers, trade and friendship across both sides of the Atlantic,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. “Ethiopia joins a growing list of countries that understand that removing artificial restrictions on international travel to, from, and between countries is the best way to increase travel and stimulate economic growth to the benefit of all parties.”

Open-Skies agreements permit unrestricted air service by the airlines of both sides between and beyond the other’s territory, without restrictions on how often the carriers can fly, the prices they charge, or the kind of aircraft they use. The accord with Ethiopia also will allow all-cargo carriers to fly between the other country and third countries without directly connecting to their homeland.

The United States now has Open-Skies relationships with 70 aviation partners, including 15 in Africa.

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