Established transatlantic carriers, such as American Airlines, will no doubt be closely examining their route networks to take advantage of the new deal. However, they may also now face competition on long-haul routes from successful low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines.
Air France and KLM have stated that the open skies deal will allow them to expand their networks. In a joint statement the airlines also said: "This will benefit global alliances like SkyTeam, which will be in a position to deliver a seamless worldwide product to customers". One of KLM's long-haul fleet, a Boeing 777-200ER, is pictured departing Amsterdam.
Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus has described the deal as "a momentous development for Irish aviation". It has already announced its intention to expand its US route network from four to seven destinations.
Virgin Atlantic, one of whose Boeing 747-400s is pictured here.
European Union and US officials recently agreed a deal that removes national agreements on flights across the Atlantic from March 30, 2008. This is likely to lead to significant changes in transatlantic services as EU airlines will be allowed to fly to the US from other member states. Pictured is a British Airways Boeing 747-400, a type the airline uses to serve the US.