The EU Council has approved the aviation agreement recently negotiated by the EU and US Administrations which removes a number of restrictions on the provision of transatlantic air services. Until the last minute, there was doubt whether the UK would back the deal that requires the opening up of the lucrative route between London's Heathrow Airport and the US to airlines other than British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and United. For technical reasons the Council has decided to postpone the application of the deal for five months until 30 March 2008. With this modification, the “open skies” agreement is now expected to be officially signed at the EU-US Summit on 30 April 2007.