Europe Approves Transatlantic Air Agreement

On Thursday, European Union governments backed a deal with the U.S. that will increase the number of people flying across the Atlantic by opening up restricted routes to new rivals; however, the EU pushed back the date of when the agreement will take effect, The New York Times reports. All 27 member nations backed the deal; the effective date has been delayed until March 30, 2008, instead of Oct. 28 of this year. Britain wanted more time to open London Heathrow--the EU's busiest airport--to more carriers. Only four airlines--British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and United Airlines--currently have the right to fly from Heathrow to the United States, which The New York Times identified as a "lucrative route that represents about a third of all European flights to the United States."

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