Americans live in a global community. Our transportation system--our roadways and railways; our flight paths and shipping lanes--these avenues keep economic growth and human progress moving forward.
Through the more than 100 Open Skies partnerships we've negotiated, the United States is working hard to make our avenues to the world as efficient as possible. That means more connections between the U.S. and partner countries, which means more convenient service and more competitive pricing.
And that benefits travelers, shippers, airlines, and economies.
I was proud to join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday at a celebration of our Open Skies initiative, commemorating a milestone of Open Skies agreements negotiated with over 100 partners during the past 20 years.
America’s Open Skies partnerships are essential ties that bind us with the rest of the world. They allow airlines to make choices more closely based in market realities and grow their international services, offering travelers more options for getting where they need to go.
Better access to the global economy also boosts economic growth and jobs. In Memphis, for example, direct service to Amsterdam accounts for more than $120 million in economic activity every year and supports more than 2,200 jobs. And in Portland, direct international service leads to more than $240 million each year in airport and visitor revenue.
Twenty years ago, the U.S. had zero open skies agreements. Today, we have more than 100 partners.
And we are far from finished. We’re working to add additional partnerships and bring even more of these benefits to the traveling and shipping public.
As we reach one milestone and push forward toward the next, DOT pledges to continue building the transportation systems that make our world smaller, safer, and more prosperous.