Chicago Convention Freedom Rights Explained

Rohit Khare (
Sun, 27 Jul 1997 15:30:09 -0400

[This took me toolong to findon the Web not to share it with y'all. Source:
[bonus points: how did Qantas become one of the only words in english
without a u after the q?]

[double bonus points: origin of 'cabotage' ?]

Chicago Convention Freedom Rights ExplainedYou'll many times hear or read
about "fifth freedom rights" and other such mysterious concepts in articles
about airlines and the routes they fly. This short page explains what they
In 1944 an International Convention was held in Chicago to
map out the framework for all future bilateral and multi-lateral (ie
between two or between many different countries) air agreements.
Traditionally - and preserved in this convention, an airli ne needs the
approval of the governments of the various countries involved before it can
fly in or out of the country, or even before it can fly across the country
without landing.
The 1944 Chicago Convention has been extended somewhat
since that time, and currently there are generally considered to be eight
different freedoms. These days, it seems that "fifth freedom" rights are
most in the news as airlines seek to expand their route systems and become
more global in scope.
Please note that although these provisions are called
"freedoms", they are not automatically granted to an airline as of right.
They are privileges not rights.

(b) First Freedom
The right to fly across another country without
(c) Second Freedom
The right to land in another country for purposes
other than carrying passengers, such as refuelling or maintenance.
(d) Third and Fourth Freedoms
These stand together as the basis for commercial
services, providing the rights to load and unload passengers, mail and
cargo in another country.
(e) Fifth Freedom
Sometimes also referred to as "beyond rights". This
freedom enables airlines to carry passengers to one country, and then fly
on to another country (rather than just back to its own country).
(f) Sixth Freedom
Not formally part of the originally convention.
This refers to a state's rights to carry traffic between two other
countries via an airport in its own territory.
(g) Seventh Freedom
Also an unofficial extension, this covers the right
to operate standalone services between two other countries.
(h) Eighth Freedom
Another unofficial extension of the treaty. This is
sometimes also referred to as "cabotage" rights, this refers to the
carriage of passengers and cargo within the borders of another country.