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UK to liberalise foreign airlines' access to regional UK airports


LONDON (XFNews) - The UK government said it is to make it easier for foreign airlines to fly new international air services to or from UK regional airports.

The government said it will in future apply a general presumption in favour of allowing foreign airlines to set down or pick up passengers, or cargo, at a UK regional airport en route to another country.

It will also allow a foreign airline flying to the UK to pick up passengers or cargo from a third country en route to its destination in the UK.

The government said that rights to operate such services, known as 'fifth freedom' rights, have traditionally been closely limited through the system of bilateral air services agreements under which international aviation is controlled.

UK aviation Minister Karen Buck said: "Today's announcement supports the UK's policy... to promote the growth of regional airports.

"The move will potentially mean more services and a greater choice of connections for passengers outside the South East of England."

"It is now up to the airlines to apply to operate new services," she added.

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