The U.S. Travel Association today launched the “Voices for Open Skies” website, highlighting the perspectives of real business owners and travelers who benefit from America's international aviation agreements with more than 120 countries.

The site calls upon policymakers to reject efforts by the Big Three U.S. airlines (American, Delta and United) to dismantle Open Skies pacts with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates—which would serve to dangerously undermine broader Open Skies policy and hurt American jobs.

"Real workers have spoken out on the reason to support Open Skies: real jobs depend on it," said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Jonathan Grella. "The big airlines working to break Open Skies have not proven an iota of harm, and, in fact, a wealth of evidence shows that tampering with Open Skies would damage jobs, travelers, small businesses and the U.S. trade balance."

The website, www.voicesforopenskies.com, highlights testimonials from real people across the country in support of Open Skies agreements, and outlines, by the numbers, the economic benefits of Gulf carrier flights by the U.S. cities they serve. The site also contains advocacy resources for flyers, business owners and travel industry workers to voice their support for Open Skies and explain how these agreements have helped their communities.

Among the top data points:

  • In 2016, international visitors arriving on Gulf carrier flights supported a total of 114,000 American jobs;
  • Gulf carriers deliver 620,000 passengers and $140 million in revenue directly to U.S. carriers per year;
  • Fares are, on average, 32 percent lower on routes subject to Open Skies agreements, generating $4 billion annually in passenger savings.

Said Grella: "Open Skies agreements benefit travelers, airlines, U.S. workers and our economy. They bring international travelers to our country from underserved regions of the world, stimulating local economies and creating jobs on every rung of the economic ladder. They inject needed competition and choice into our aviation market at a time when the Big Three U.S. airlines and their international alliance partners control more than 80 percent of the trans-Atlantic flight market. Open Skies keep our country connected to the world, and competitive as a desirable destination for business and leisure. They're even good for the Big Three's bottom line.

"Policymakers should know that Open Skies work, and resist any efforts to dismantle them. Millions of jobs—real people's jobs—depend on it."

Learn more about Voices for Open Skies.


U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.3 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation's economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for more information.



Cathy Keefe Reynolds

Manager, Media Relations

Jamie Morris

Manager, Media Relations