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The first freedom is the right to fly over a foreign country without landing. :31 It grants the privilege to fly over the territory of a treaty country without landing. Member states of the International Air Services Transit Agreement grant this freedom (as well as the second freedom) to other member states, subject to the transiting aircraft using designated air routes. As of the summer of 2007, 129 countries were parties to this treaty, including such large ones as the United States, India, and Australia. However, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, and China never joined, with Canada leaving the treaty in 1988. These large and strategically located non-IASTA-member states prefer to maintain tighter control over foreign airlines' overflight of their airspace and negotiate transit agreements with other countries on a case-by-case basis. :23 During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and China did not allow airlines to enter their airspace. There were flights from Europe to Japan that refueled in Alaska. Since the end of the Cold War, first freedom rights are almost completely universal. :151 Most countries require prior notification before an overflight and may charge substantial fees for the privilege.

“Their argument is nothing more than a mess of legal distortions and factual errors,” the U.A.E. national carrier said in the document posted on its website.

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