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EU To Negotiate Single US Open Skies Deal  
User currently offlineUnited01 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2003, 26 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5293 times:

I dont think this has been discussed on here LATELY, but it has been confirmed that EU transport ministers have agreed to seek a single deal with the US, which could apparently reshape the face of the transatlantic air industry. Here are a couple of links:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20030605/bs_nm/airlines_eu_usa_dc_1

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/dowjones/20030605/bs_dowjones/200306051003000788

I hope you guys can help me out on this. Does this mean we could see Air France flying Heathrow - JFK? KLM Miami - Madrid? I know competition is good for consumers in terms of air fares, but i wouldnt want to see this happen. We would then likely see airlines merged under three groups - LH, BA, AF ( already happening sort off with the main alliances). Also - there is only so much demand to go around. Yes numbers will grow and we are talking years before this comes around, i think, but even though Heathrow - JFK is like the most travelled international route in the world, it already has something like 18 flights a day. Is there really space for any more? Would airlines really be willing to give up lucrative routes like these? Opinions please. ( I know this may have been discussed before, but it was in the news again recently). Thank You!

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

As the article in Aviation Week and Space Technology stated this week, the real dealing begins when the U.S. government chimes in on what and who they are going to deal with. It has been said time and time again that the U.S. government is not for the EU negotiating for all of the countries.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineJrlander From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5215 times:

I don't think the US will have much choice. If the countries have given the EU authority to do so, than the US will have to negotiate with them. Part of the issue with the US, I believe, was the fear that the already existing open-skies agreements would be voided. Those agreements remain in place until a new bilateral accord can be negotiated, thus taking the US's fear away. The US will probably gain from this, as the EU now has the authority to negotiate regarding Heathrow access. United01: yes, we could see Air France flying to JFK from LHR, or BA flying to ORD from CDG. If an entirely open-skies agreement were to be reached, European carriers could fly to the US from anywhere else in the EU. This will probably hasten the consolidation of the European airline industry, and herald the end of the state carriers. I would guess there will be 3-4 major carriers left in Europe, each with multiple hubs in multiple EU member states. The ones that are often seen as winning out are BA, AF, and Lufthansa. I would fully expect Air France and Alitalia to merge in the near future. The fate of airlines such as KLM will depend largely upon which alliance they have joined or will join.

It will be interesting to see if these carriers change their names as they take over other national carriers. Will FCO become a hub for Air France, or will the combined Air France/Alitalia take on a new name.


User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12408 posts, RR: 37
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5208 times:

What the US position on who they will negotiate with is, is not material. The EU governments have legally transferred that authority to the EU Commission and therefore, the US could not legally deal with individual EU countries (and they could not and would not deal with the US).

On a positive note, the US has been calling for open skies for years; for US carriers, the prospect of an open skies agreement covered the entire US and Europe must be hugely promising. There are complex issues to negotiate, but this will be the end result.


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5176 times:
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So what everyone is saying is that if the EU demands Heathrow be opened to access to any airline, then the UK will simply oblige?

Yeah right!!!  Yeah sure



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

the US has been calling for open skies for years
With a slightly different variation on the term  Wink/being sarcastic

With truly open skies - that is, both EU and US operators free to fly any EU-US, intra-EU, and intra-US route - we would see a lot more change amongst EU operators than amongst US operators; some stodgy EU flag carriers would be the biggest losers (thinking of no AF in particular), and the biggest gainers would be among the well-run larger mainstream and LCCs (anybody who has spare resources to pick the cherries in other markets)which you can find on both sides of the Atlantic.

Such a drastic liberalisation seems highly unlikely, however.

I'd be happy to make do with "just" transatlantic open skies. For instance, BA would be free to fly FRA-JFK &c. This is a closer approximation to what both sides are actually willing to offer for now.

But we just have to wait and see exactly what is thrashed out... I'd hate to be specific because anything could change, and I'm bound to be proved wrong on at least one carrier / airport / regulation.  Smile

Speaking even more generally - extra competition benefits customers, and it benefits good carriers. The ones who don't benefit are inefficient carriers (pick three of: inept board, overstaffing, silly unions, twenty types, random route map, big debts, poor yield management, ...). Boo hoo.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5125 times:

With truly open skies - that is, both EU and US operators free to fly any EU-US, intra-EU, and intra-US route

Actually, EU operators flying intra-US routes is called "cabotage", not "open skies". US carriers flying between different EU countries is "open skies".


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5129 times:

The Bush administration as part of the new negotiations on a EU/US open skies agreement has made it known that they are willing to raise the restrictions of foreign ownership of US carriers to 49% from the current 25%.

That's as close as a foreign carrier is going to get to flying Domestic US flights, which has nothing to do with the current negotiations.




Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5092 times:

As long as individual EU-member states are willing to negotiate with the US on Open Skies agreements, we will continue to see them do so. Not until all 15 (soon to be 25) member states stop negotiating with the US will we see the US negotiate with the EU. So it's really up to the Europeans.

But why would anyone want to join up in an alliance of nations that are 1) economically stagnant, 2) politically and diplomatically separate, and 3) can't even write a simple Constitution that isn't so confused and overwritten that it is doomed to failure by the sheer size of the document? Take a lesson from us: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Give it simple, broad meanings and let the courts decide what the intent is.

Sorry, to rant. I just don't see the EU succeeding if it continues on its current path of socialization and economic decline. The only success story in Europe in the 1990s was Britain, which is about the most reluctant member of the EU. Hey, maybe they should join NAFTA. North Atlantic Free Trade Area. Hey, that sounds pretty good!



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5076 times:
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Absolutely correct Elwood64151.
We know the EU wants to negotiate on behalf of members states, but what legal jurisdiction does it have over countries? Will the EU decide who flies in and out of LHR? What if countries (in this case UK) simply refuse a deal which they think is not right?




In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5067 times:

The problem is that EU laws trump national laws, I believe (please correct me if I am misunderstood). The UK wouldn't really have a basis to "refuse" the deal. No wonder many Brits are wary of the EU!

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5064 times:

"The problem is that EU laws trump national laws, I believe (please correct me if I am misunderstood). The UK wouldn't really have a basis to "refuse" the deal "

Of course the UK could refuse the EU, what's the EU going to do use force to make member countries obey.

The US had to fight a bloody Civil War to preserve the Union and force the Southern secessionist (sp?) to remain in the Union (sp?.).

Who's willing to die to preserve the EU?



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

LOL,things have moved on a little!


That's as close as a foreign carrier is going to get to flying Domestic US flights, which has nothing to do with the current negotiations
It has quite a large role in current negotiations as does 'Fly American' and 5th freedom rights(although part of cabotage in 1 sense)



User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 5018 times:
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Of course the UK could refuse the EU, what's the EU going to do use force to make member countries obey.
That is what i want to know, what will the EU exactly do if a member state refuses, cos i don' think the UK will simply bow to EU pressure and say "Here's Heathrow for you, u can fly in when you want"  Nuts



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineLijnden From Netherlands, joined Apr 2003, 562 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5005 times:
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Political open skies? This is another way that EU countries (like protective France) get a part of the deal, which other countries already did more than 10 years ago with smart business sense and good politics (The Netherlands, UK, USA, Canada). Open skies should be earned by service and not used as political pressure methode to try to make your national airline survive (Air France / Alitalia / Olympic / SNBrussel). The current cooled-down relations between two large EU nations (France and Germany) and the USA set back the political interest for several decades for these countries. So, instead of dealing directly, they simply put a bomb under the current aviation agreements with othe EU countries and the USA simply by saying it is not legal. After (CH)IRAQ I cannot trust the French and German governments doing this in the interest of Europe. They must have their own agenda.
I also believe that AF did not voluntarily stopped flying the Concorde suddenly right in the middle of business season and so soon before the summer holiday season! Wasn't the 767-300 also not retired that week? Co-incidence or political revenge?



Be kind to animals!
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4966 times:

I don't believe that EU law trumps ANY states laws. They are more like guidelines. Also, the U.S. doesn't have to deal with that branch if they don't recognize its legitimacy. An example is the "World Court" some nations signed on and allowed it to over rule their own nations laws. The U.S. did not and therefore does not recognize its powers.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineAIR757200 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1579 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4953 times:


Now, I not sure if an article I had read was correct in stating that this "open skies" agreement will allow EU carriers to fly domestic in US? Is this incorrect?


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4943 times:

The US is not going to allow foreign carriers to fly domestic flights within the US, they don't even let merchant ships carry people or cargo from one US port to another without an intermediate stop in a foreign port.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

I don't believe that EU law trumps ANY states laws.
Yes, they do, in many cases.

Also, the U.S. doesn't have to deal with that branch if they don't recognize its legitimacy.
It seems to have recognised the legitimacy of the EU in most other fields.

That is what i want to know, what will the EU exactly do if a member state refuses, cos i don' think the UK will simply bow to EU pressure and say "Here's Heathrow for you, u can fly in when you want"
If the UK flouts EU authority out of some (misguided) selfish intransigence, whose fault is that?

Anyway, back to open skies?  Smile



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4915 times:


The point in writing a constitution (or constitutional agreement) for the EU is to iron out the specifics, not to "let the courts decide". This is not the 18th but the 21st century and things are a bit more complex now.

How should Americans feel if the local Supreme Court took up the case, of whether or not there should be a "President of the United States" or no, and what his relation would be to the "Prime Minister of the United States".

It's amusing to see people dismiss offhand an extremely complicated and sensitive process that's been in the works for 50 years.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7987 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4863 times:

I think the USA will get a deal with the EU for true Open Skies access to CDG, BRU, AMS, FRA, MUC, MAD, BCN, LIS, MXP, and FCO. Too bad British politics and the Bermuda II agreement will continue to hamstring Open Skies access to LHR, LGW, STN and MAN.  Sad

User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1836 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4832 times:

Any EU law has primacy over the law of any member state. Lots of people are getting their knickers in a twist about how this is explicitly stated in the new 'constitution' (which, for the nth millionth time, is a draft!) but it has been enshrined in the member state treaties for decades.

STT757, your assertion that foreign carriers should not be allowed to fly domestically in the US is not irrelevant, in fact it's part of the whole point. The EU can now deal with the US on a level playing field (something that the US is resisting, as always!) and I can guarantee you that if US carriers want the freedom to fly 'domestically' within the European Union, then they won't be allowed to until the US gives equivalent rights (scrapping ownership, allowing domestic services).


User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12408 posts, RR: 37
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4820 times:

It's not so much a case of EU law "trumping" national laws, but (in this case), the 15 EU members ceded control of bilateral negotiations to the EU Commission, which will now negotiation one bilateral between the US and EU.

The final outcome, in my view, will be Open Skies between the US and Europe. There will be a more liberal regime between LHR and the US, which may involve other European carriers being able to fly from there; I would imagine LH would use the fact that ownership rules will be relaxed to acquire a larger stake in bmi.

One of the major issues will be slots at LHR and to me, this must make a third runway at LHR a dead cert. More US carriers will want to get in there and won't be interested in STN or LGW. LHR is what it's all about.

Every other city pair, be it CLT to ATH or LEJ to MSP, will be covered by open skies without restriction.

As to cabotage, there's a far more practical reason why this will not happen. EU "mainline" carriers will be too busy fending off the attack from the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet etc to even think about investing in US airlines or even moreso, setting up a new carrier in what will be a more hostile environment. (Virgin America will probably be the exception). And the likes of FR will be having far too much fun making the big guys squirm to even look at such a proposal. The most the US will probably do is to raise ownership limits to 49%, as the DOT has already proposed.

What I am not clear about is how much ability national governments have to negotiate/deal with the US in the meantime. I had assumed "none", but the Irish minister for transport is reportedly already dealing directly with the US to row back on the disastrous SNN stopover policy (much to the relief of airlines like EI, DL, CO etc.)



User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4804 times:

"and I can guarantee you that if US carriers want the freedom to fly 'domestically' within the European Union".

See that's the point, there is no "domestic" European market, Germany and the UK are not the same Country.

US Carriers have in the past and I believe UAL still does operate "intra Europe flights", however that's not domestic.

Pan Am was awarded domestic German flights operating out of Berlin and Frankfurt to various German cities with ATR's and 737s, they sold those routes to LHR around 1990. Pan Am was awarded the right to fly within Germany by the Supreme Allied Command after the defeat of Germany in 1945.

I wonder if a US carrier still holds the rights Pan Am once did to operate within Germany, and would the EU honor a treaty the US won from Germany after WWII.

DL bought Pan Am's Frankfurt hub, and operated many intra -Europe flights. I wonder if DL also was able to obtain Pan Am's German Domestic rights.

UAL bought Pan Am's LHR hub and flew to many Cities like Hamburg and Amsterdam. Today I think UAL still operates between LHR and AMS.

TWA also operated a hub at CDG and CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO to various European Cities.

However only Pan Am actually flew "domestic routes" within Germany, possibly DL in the early '90s.

The US is not going to give up the US Domestic market because their is nothing of substance the EU has to offer in return, no US airlines want into the EU domestic market. And the US is not going to give up the US Domestice market for a measly 10-15 LHR slots for CO and DL, it's not an equal trade.

The US already allows foreign Carriers to operate various international routes from the US, example..

Air New Zealand not only flies from the US to Auckland but from the US to London Heathrow.

Japan Airlines not only flies from the US to Japan but from the US to Sao Paulo Brazil.

So an American carrier carrying passengers and selling tickets between Paris and say Prague is no different than a airline like Aerolinas Argentina being allowed to fly (and sell tickets) between JFK and Montreal.

Also keep in mind that the US domestic market makes up 40% (!) of the worlds air travel market, why would the US give that up in exchange for access to a "EU" Domestic market which is smaller.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1836 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4774 times:

See that's the point, there is no "domestic" European market, Germany and the UK are not the same Country.

They are for the purposes of aviation, and they have been since EU-wide Open Skies was started in 1992!

So, yes, there is a domestic EU market, and it is one that is experiencing massive growth. That's why I would imagine US majors would jump at the chance to emulate some of the success of Easyjet and Ryanair and feed passengers into their long-haul networks.


25 Arsenal@LHR : Eg777er, STT757 is right, there us no such thing as a "EU domestic market", the EU is a politically defined, geographical area. LHR-GLA is a UK domest
26 Eg777er : OK, perhaps I should've been more specific: for the purposes of the bilateral relationships between two EU member states, there is very little differe
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