December 19, 2017 / 9:49 PM / a year ago

Brazil lower house approves open skies deal with U.S.

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The lower house of Brazil's Congress on Tuesday approved an open skies agreement with the United States that clears the way for a partnership between American Airlines Group Inc and LATAM Airlines Group SA, Latin America's largest carrier.

The treaty, which needs Senate approval for final ratification, was signed in 2011 but faced opposition from lawmakers lobbied by local airline interests in Brazil fearing competition from American carriers.

The accord removes limits on the number of flights between the two countries and is a requirement for the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve a joint business agreement (JBA) between American Airlines and LATAM Airlines that would expand their traffic in the region. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Brad Haynes)

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