5Freedoms of Air Service

The air service freedoms (articles) are a set of commercial aviation rules that define the rights of an airline belonging to a country to fly over another country’s airspace and also to land in that country (Button and Taylor 2000; Button 2009; Bowen 2010; Fu et al. 2010; Williams 2017). They also regulate the rights of airlines to carry people, cargo, and mail internationally. These freedoms are formulated as a result of disagreements among countries over the extent of aviation liberalization in the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, known as the Chicago Convention. There are typically nine major articles that define the rights of an airline to provide international service. The first two articles are related to the right of a commercial aircraft to pass through foreign airspace and airports (known as the transit rights). The other articles are related to the right to carry passengers, mail, and cargo in the international markets (known as the traffic rights). Specifically, the last four articles are not officially recognized because they are not mentioned by the Chicago Convention. However, they could be made possible by some air services agreements. Table 5.1 gives a description of the nine air service articles. The table also gives a hypothetical example to explain their application. In addition, Figure 5.1 shows a graphical representation of these nine air service articles.

Table 5.1 Description of the air service freedoms.

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