The deal allows European Union airlines to fly to any city in the U.S. and permits American carriers to fly to any city in the European Union. It will also spell the end of the mandatory stopover at Shannon airport for all transatlantic flights between Ireland and the U.S.
Aer Lingus is to begin three new U.S. routes this autumn while U.S. carriers are expected to follow suit with new direct flights to and from Ireland.
Open Skies does not come into effect until March 30, 2008, but Ireland and the U.S. have reached a deal which enables an earlier start to the opening of air travel between the two countries.
Direct Aer Lingus flights to and from Dublin and San Francisco, Orlando and Washington, D.C. will use two new Airbus A330 aircraft, which will be delivered in May and June. Washington services are expected to begin in September, with the Orlando and San Francisco schedules starting in October.
Tickets, due to go on sale next week, to Washington from Dublin from