By Joanne Bladd
Kingdom is the last of the six Gulf states to sign aviation deal with United States
The United States and Saudi Arabia initialed an ‘open skies’
aviation deal easing restrictions and red tape on air travel between the two
countries, the US government said.
"This agreement strengthens and expands our already
strong trade and tourism links with Saudi Arabia, and will benefit American and
Saudi Arabian businesses and travellers," a statement from the State
The kingdom is the last of the six GCC member states to sign
the air travel agreement with the US.
"It will expand air service and encourage vigorous
price competition by airlines, while safeguarding aviation safety and security,”
the statement added.
Open skies deals curb government interference in the
commercial decisions of air carriers about routes, capacity and pricing and can
vastly expand international and cargo traffic.
The United States has open skies deals with more than 100
foreign partners, including Saudi’s Gulf neighbours and Jordan.