An open skies agreement between the US and Australia was announced but has not been signed. The agreement, the 90th open skies agreement for the US, will allow an unlimited number of airlines from either country to serve the market with an unlimited number of flights. Pricing, code sharing, and charter restrictions would be lifted when the agreement becomes effective.
“This agreement will strengthen the already close ties between the United States and Australia,” said Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mary E. Peters. “Today's agreement begins a new era where American and Australian consumers, airlines and economies can enjoy the benefits of lower fares and more convenient service.”
Although the 1946 US-Australia aviation agreement was significantly amended in the 1980s, it still contained restrictions on capacity, routing, pricing, and code sharing, said DOT. And, there was no provision for charter flights. In 1999, the two countries took a major step toward liberalizing air services when they agreed to remove restrictions on US-Australia air cargo services.