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Cablegate: Finland Supports the Open Skies Plus Agreement

VZCZCXRO5201
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHHE #0184 0731437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141437Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3069
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000184

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/TRA/AN/TCOLEMAN AND EUR/ERA/PWALKER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON EU KTIA PREL FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND SUPPORTS THE OPEN SKIES PLUS AGREEMENT

REF: SECSTATE 29781

1. (SBU) Econoff delivered reftel demarche on the Open Skies
Plus agreement to Anne Torkkeli, Susan Hindstrom and Topi
Siren, of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and
Communications on March 14. GOF contacts voiced support for
the revised Air Services Agreement and disappointment that
the original agreement wasn't signed during Finland's recent
EU Presidency. Torkkeli remarked that the agreement was
important since it solidified the "legal certainty" of a
bilateral aviation agreement between the U.S. and the EU.
Finland plans to vote for the agreement during the upcoming
EU Transport Council meeting; however, GOF contacts stressed
they have limited ability to influence others on this matter
now that the EU Presidency has passed to Germany.

2. (SBU) Media sources quoted officials from Finnish flag
carrier Finnair as saying that the agreement is still biased
due to U.S. ownership restrictions. After acknowledging that
any agreement was better than nothing at all, Finnair
officials said the agreement would have little direct impact
on its daily operations. During the last year, Finnair
traffic to the U.S. has fallen by roughly 24 percent while
increasing by the same amount to locations in Asia.
HYATT

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