Freedoms of the air

The Freedoms of the air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country's airline(s) the privilege to enter and land in another country's airspace. Formulated as a result of disagreements over the extent of aviation liberalisation in the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, (known as the Chicago Convention) the United States had called for a standardized set of separate air rights which may be negotiated between states but most of the other countries involved were concerned that the size of the US airlines would dominate all world air travel if there were not strict rules.

The convention was successful in drawing up a multilateral agreement in which the first two freedoms, known as the International Air Services Transit Agreement, or "Two Freedoms agreement" were open to all signatories. While it was agreed that the third to fifth freedoms shall be negotiated between states, the International Air Transport Agreement (or the "Five Freedoms agreement") was also opened for signatures, encompassing the first five freedoms.

Several other "freedoms" have since been added, although most are not officially recognised under international bilateral treaties they have been agreed by a number of countries e.g Aer Lingus had fifth freedom rights through Manchester to various European destinations prior to EU liberalisation and Pan Am had rights through London for many years.

First freedom

It was also known as technical freedom.The right to overfly a country without landing. It grants the privilege to fly over the territory of a treaty country without landing.

Since the end of the Cold War, first freedom rights are almost completely universal, although most countries require prior notification before an overflight.

econd freedom

It was also a technical freedom. The right to stop in a country for refueling or maintenance on the way to another, without transferring passengers or cargo.

The most famous example of the second freedom is Shannon Airport, which was used as a stopping point for most North Atlantic flights until the 1960s. Anchorage was similarly used for flights between Western Europe and East Asia, bypassing Soviet airspace, until the 1980s. Anchorage is still used by some Chinese and Taiwanese airlines for flights to the U.S. and Toronto from China and Taiwan. Also, flights between Europe and South Africa often stopped at Ilha do Sal (Sal Island), off the coast of Senegal, due to many African nations refusing to allow South African flights to overfly their territory during the Apartheid regime. Gander, Newfoundland was also a frequent stopping point for airlines from the U.S.S.R. and East Germany on the way to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and South America.

Second-freedom rights are not commonly exercised by most passenger carriers today, but they are widely used by air cargo carriers, and are more or less universal between countries.

Third freedom

It was the First Commercial Freedom.The right to carry passengers or cargo from one's own country to another.

Fourth freedom

The right to carry passengers or cargo from another country to one's own.

Third and fourth freedom rights are almost always granted simultaneously in bilateral agreements between countries.

Fifth freedom

It is also called a connecting flight.The right to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country. An example of this could be Emirates Airlines flights originating in Dubai, then going on to Bangkok, and then from Bangkok to Sydney, where tickets can be sold on any or all sectors.

Two sub-categories exist. Beyond Fifth Freedom allows the right to carry passengers from the second country to the third country. Intermediate Fifth Freedom allows the right to carry passengers from the third to the second country.

ixth freedom

The right to carry passengers or cargo from a second country to a third country by stopping in one's own country.

Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines and other airlines in Asia use sixth-freedom rights extensively to fly passengers between Europe and Australasia. Likewise, American Airlines connects passengers from Europe and Asia to other countries in the Americas via U.S. ports, and British Airways commonly tickets passengers from America to Asia via London. Icelandair sells tickets between Europe and North America via Iceland, Finnair sells tickets from North America to Asia via Helsinki.

eventh freedom

The right to carry passengers or cargo between two foreign countries without continuing service to one's own country.

The seventh freedom is rare because it is usually not in the commercial interest of airlines, except in Europe where an EU open sky has seen many carriers, particularly low cost carriers, operate flights between two points, with neither of them being in their home country. On 2 October 2007, the United Kingdom and Singapore initialled an agreement that will allow unlimited seventh freedom rights from 30 March 2008 (along with a full exchange of other freedoms of the air).

Eighth freedom (true cabotage)

The right to carry passengers or cargo between two or more points in one foreign country.
An example would be Singapore Airlines carrying passengers between San Francisco and Houston.

The eighth freedom is also known as cabotage, and is extremely rare. The main real life example of eighth-freedom rights is the European Union, which has granted such rights between all of its member states. Other examples of an exchange of this right include the Single Aviation Market (SAM) established between Australia and New Zealand in 1996 and the 2001 Protocol to the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation (MALIAT) between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Otherwise, such rights have usually only been granted in isolated instances where the domestic air network is very underdeveloped. A notable instance was Pan Am's authority to fly between Frankfurt and West Berlin from the 1950s to 1980s. In 2005, the United Kingdom and New Zealand concluded an agreement granting unlimited cabotage rights. [http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=23786] Given the distance between the two countries, the agreement can be seen as a reflecting political principle rather than an expectation that these rights will be taken up in the near future. New Zealand had previously exchanged eighth-freedom rights with Ireland in 1999. [http://www.executive.govt.nz/speech.cfm?speechralph=28776&SR=0]

In the 1950s through the early 1970s, B.O.A.C. flights from London to New York to Los Angeles to Honolulu permitted London origination passengers to make stopovers inside the U.S. In the 1980s and 1990s, El Al Israeli airlines had similar rights for passengers to/from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles, which stopped in New York. JAT Yugoslav Airlines had similar rights in the 1980s from Zagreb to Chicago to Los Angeles.

Currently, Eva Air of Taiwan flies from Taipei to Seattle to Newark, with the right for Taipei/Newark passengers to make a stopover in Seattle, if continuing later on to Newark, and vice versa. Likewise, Qantas Airways of Australia flies from Sydney to Los Angeles with continuing service to New York-JFK. Qantas is not permitted to sell standalone tickets on the Los Angeles-New York part of this trip, but it does sell tickets that start in New York and connect in Los Angeles to other Qantas flights on to Brisbane or Melbourne.

Ninth freedom (stand alone cabotage)

The right to carry passengers or cargo within a foreign country without continuing service to or from one's own country.

Sometimes also known as stand alone cabotage. It differs from the aviation definition of "true cabotage", in that it does not directly relate to one's own country.

An example of this could be Malaysia's Air Asia selling domestic flights inside Thailand. The EU agreements mentioned above also fall under this category.

External links

* [http://www.icao.int/icao/en/trivia/freedoms_air.htm ICAO Freedoms of the Air]
* [http://www.maliat.govt.nz/ Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation (MALIAT)]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • freedoms of the air — noun The bilateral agreements concerning international air travel defined by the Chicago Convention in 1944, covering such topics as overflight, stopovers, and passenger carriage. See Also: first freedom of the air, second freedom of the air,… …   Wiktionary

  • air law — Introduction       the body of law directly or indirectly concerned with civil aviation. Aviation in this context extends to both heavier than air and lighter than air aircraft. Air cushion vehicles are not regarded as aircraft by the… …   Universalium

  • The Culture — is a fictional interstellar anarchist, socialist, and utopian[1][2] society created by the Scottish writer Iain M. Banks which features in a number of science fiction novels and works of short fiction by him, collectively called the Culture… …   Wikipedia

  • The Professional Commons — (Traditional Chinese: 公共專業聯盟) a policy think tank by professionals. It is an independent, membership based, non profit organisation and think tank established in Hong Kong in June 2007. It is open to all professionals who share the same values.… …   Wikipedia

  • The Galactus Trilogy — Fantastic Four #48. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott. Publisher Marvel Comics …   Wikipedia

  • The Gambia — Gambia redirects here. For the river, see Gambia River. Republic of The Gambia …   Wikipedia

  • The Star-Spangled Banner — For information about the flag that flew over Fort McHenry, see Star Spangled Banner Flag. For the present flag, see flag of the United States. The Star Spangled Banner One of two surviving copies of the 1814 broadside printing of the Defence of… …   Wikipedia

  • The Sundays — Sundays redirects here. For the day, see Sunday. The Sundays Paul Brindley, Harriet Wheeler, Patrick Hannan, and David Gavurin Background information Origin …   Wikipedia

  • five freedoms — The five basic freedoms relating to air traffic negotiated in bilateral air agreements between governments of two countries. The first freedom is the right to fly across each other’s territory without landing. The second is the right to make… …   Aviation dictionary

  • Law of the European Union — The Law of the European Union is the unique legal system which operates alongside the laws of Member States of the European Union (EU). EU law has direct effect within the legal systems of its Member States, and overrides national law in many… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.