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US UK Open Skies Agreement  
User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4347 times:

While I know there is not a chance of such an agreement anytime soon. I can't for the life of me understand what the hell the UK government is complaining about. British Airways, Virgin and BMI have access to every major airport in the United States. There is not one single airport they are not allowed to operate into. Yet American carriers have been denied access to Heathrow for decades. The UK government says it is a capacity issue but funny how every new carrier that enters the market in Europe, Africa or Asia seems to gain access. I think it is time that the US get tough with the UK. If they won't give us access to Heathrow we should deny BA, Virgin and BMI the use of Newark, relegate them to BWI instead of Dulles and force them to use FLL instead of MIA! I can't see that they have a leg to stand on. Continental, US Airways, Northwest and others have been relegated to Gatwick for too long!

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJakob77 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4293 times:

bwi can't fly to the US from LHR as well.
while it may not be fair to NW/CO/DL that they can't fly into LHR, the fact that only 2 carriers from each country can fly to/from LHR seems fair enough to me.
the US agreed to and signed bermuda 2. nobody forced them to sign it.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4264 times:

The problems that the US/UK face in moving beyond Bermuda2 to an openskies situation are far more complicated than the above posts suggest.

The operational issues, such as slots and capacity issues at LHR can be overcome, but there are other things to consider - the most controversial issue is that the UK has linked an open skies agreement with cabotage rights within the US. The position has been that if US airlines were to get unrestricted access to LHR, UK carriers shoul be allowed to carry passengers on US domestic routes to balance the scales. To be honest, I have never really understood the connection between the two concepts, but that has been the big issue so far - as far as the US is concerned, UK carriers operating domestic US routes is a nonstarter. Recent reports suggest that the UK may be moving away from this posiiton, which could mean some progress in moving beyond Bermuda 2 - its unlikely that we will see open skies directly, there is likely to be a transition period whereby first we will see increased access to LHR by additional US carriers (each operating a limited number of flights per day) before full open skies is in place.

BA, for obvious reasons, is rather satisfied with the current situation but if a new agreement was reached between the US and UK - additional progress could be made with the codeshare deals between BA and AA.

When increased access to LHR is available to US carriers, CO is a favorite to be the first new airline into that airport......CO has made a point of being a good and responsible airline in the UK that has opened up transatlantic services to many UK regional airports and the reward will now be access to LHR. DL also very much wants to serve the JFK-LHR route and would probably be next on the short list of carriers into LHR, with US and NW to follow.

It will happen, its just a matter of when.

Quoting Jakob77 (Reply 1):
bwi can't fly to the US from LHR as well.
while it may not be fair to NW/CO/DL that they can't fly into LHR, the fact that only 2 carriers from each country can fly to/from LHR seems fair enough to me.
the US agreed to and signed bermuda 2. nobody forced them to sign it.

Its not that simple, Bermuda 2 is outdated and needs to be re-worked. Nations update their agreements all of the time to reflect the times and to accommodate the needs of the market place. Worldwide, there is a movement to openskies and relaxed bilateral air service agreements......Bermuda 2 simply out of date. Yes, the US (and UK) signed the agreement and they are stuck with it until it can be renegotiated, but most agree that its time for something new and more liberal.


User currently offlineIADLHR From Italy, joined Apr 2005, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4200 times:

In addition to expanding the BA/AA codeshare, in time BA might want to merge with another carrier in Europe. In my opinion, that will finally be the catalyst that opens LHR to all US carriers. BA would need approval from the US, if the merger involved another carrier that flew to the US.This could be followed or even proceeded by another BA/AA application for US ATI.

Under that scenario I seriously doubt if the US would accept a phased in openskies at LHR. Some how, some way the UK and BA would have to find or make the slots available for all US carriers.


User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4161 times:

With Northwest and Delta in Ch11, Continental and possibly USAir seem the only likely entrants. Even if they enter the market, how many good slots can they afford to build a schedule as spread out as AAL/BAW?

How does BermudaII work with fifth freedom carriers between Heathrow and the US? CPA has the rights to New York from Hong Kong but when they were granted Heathrow New York with fifth freedom did the US need to be consulted? Sure they can't be too happy about this?



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User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4075 times:

While I realize the issue is not this simple the facts can not be denied. UK airlines have access to every major US airport and the US airlines do not have that same access in the UK. I think the UK government's argument is rediculous to say they should be allowed access rights to the US domestic market for allowing US carriers access to Heathrow is crazy. Even if for some crazy reason UK carriers were given access to the US domestic market they would fail miserably. The UK airlines just don't understand the US domestic market is a much different animal than the European market. American, Continental, Delta... with their fortress hubs would squash any UK presence. The lowfare carriers would then come in an mop up what was left. The US market is already over capacity and the UK thinks it can come in and run the show better given they have ZERO experience in the US domestic market. Why do you think Virgin America has had such a tough time getting off the ground.

User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4046 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 5):
While I realize the issue is not this simple the facts can not be denied. UK airlines have access to every major US airport and the US airlines do not have that same access in the UK. I think the UK government's argument is rediculous to say they should be allowed access rights to the US domestic market for allowing US carriers access to Heathrow is crazy. Even if for some crazy reason UK carriers were given access to the US domestic market they would fail miserably. The UK airlines just don't understand the US domestic market is a much different animal than the European market. American, Continental, Delta... with their fortress hubs would squash any UK presence. The lowfare carriers would then come in an mop up what was left. The US market is already over capacity and the UK thinks it can come in and run the show better given they have ZERO experience in the US domestic market. Why do you think Virgin America has had such a tough time getting off the ground.

Well, I think what the situation here is not so much airports served but cities served. I understand all US airlines can have access to London's airports. It may not be Heathrow, which is obviously the most desirable (though, at times, God knows why) but they can all serve London as a city. Two US airlines and two British airlines are permitted at one time to fly between points in the United States and Heathrow; United, American, BA, and Virgin Atlantic. British airlines, as I understand it, can fly anywhere in America they want to, and vice versa. From a city standpoint, you can also look at it as technically there is only ONE international airport in any given city in America. BTW, you might protest that that isn't the case in New York, but in reality, it is. EWR is in Newark; Kennedy is in New York. For that matter, FLL is in Ft. Lauderdale; MIA is in Miami, etc., etc. If the open skies agreement has something also to do with intrastate travel within the US, I can understand where US carriers wouldn't want that to happen. Domestic US service compared to European domestic service is crap...and that's being kind. That's why I would love to see Branson come into the US travel market and operate a domestic airline like he does Virgin. US carriers would sink like a stone.



If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3997 times:

Quoting Scamp (Reply 6):
British airlines, as I understand it, can fly anywhere in America they want to

Not really! From Heathrow, British carriers, along with US carriers, can only serve some cities, for example, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. BA and AA have to serve these cities from LGW!


User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3988 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 7):
Not really! From Heathrow, British carriers, along with US carriers, can only serve some cities, for example, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. BA and AA have to serve these cities from LGW!

Well, yes, that I knew. What I was (trying) to say was that British airlines, in general, can fly into ANY US city that they want to...not just FROM LHR, but from anywhere else. For example, BA could start service to Boise or Flint, if they want to. Just not from LHR, though, yeah.



If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineBOSSAN From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3869 times:

Quoting Scamp (Reply 6):
From a city standpoint, you can also look at it as technically there is only ONE international airport in any given city in America.

In the city of Chicago, both MDW and ORD have international service and customs facilities.


User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

Well I can tell you one thing these 757 flights that Continental and now American have been launching these are not to UK good will flights as was suggested above. This is a brilliant strategy by CO and AA to bust BA and Virgin's Heathrow hub from the outside. This strategy strips premium passengers from BA that would normally pass through their Heathrow hub but can now skip the messy connection in overcrowded Heathrow and fly direct to NYC. The best part is BA and especially Virgin have no response because they don't have an aircraft they can deploy to match CO and AA. BA has disposed of much of their 757 fleet in favor of the A321 which doesn't have the range to fly most of these 757 routes. Maybe dumping the 757 fleet wasn't such a great idea. Both CO and AA have an endless supply of 757's to keep adding these types of routes. They can just plug in another 737-800 and later 900ER's. The 787 will fit nicely into the strategy as well when they come online providing a capacity increase as these new markets mature. I believe that CO and AA are single handedly proving Boeing's hub busting strategy to viable. I just don't think anyone thought the 757 would be the aircraf to prove that but CO has been doing this for 10 years now.

User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3741 times:

Quoting BOSSAN (Reply 9):
In the city of Chicago, both MDW and ORD have international service and customs facilities

All right, I oversimplified. Call me when Midway gets European service.



If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7401 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 5):
While I realize the issue is not this simple the facts can not be denied. UK airlines have access to every major US airport and the US airlines do not have that same access in the UK.

This depends on yore definition of 'every major US airport'. The US airports British airlines can fly to are controlled. The most recently allowed expansion was when Las Vegas was added to the list of what Coa747 calls 'every major US airport'. Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways wanted to operate but only Virgin was allowed.

Please also note that the only restriction placed by Bermuda 2 is on Heathrow. Any US Airline can operate into any other (major or minor) UK airport including London Gatwick, London Stansted and London Luton. So the only question is what is so special about overcrowded Heathrow?

Perhaps the answer to this question can be found in another current thread on a.net asking this very question and comparing Gatwick with Heathrow. But if you desperately want to carry passengers from any city in the US to London it beats me why you profess so vehemently that only Heathrow will do. The only reason I can see why this should be is to interconnect with another (competitive?) airline's flights to Europe, the Middle East, Africa or the Far East.

But still every airline wants to fly LHR-JFK, the world's blue ribbon route. One could ask with American, United, BA, VA, Air India and now, I believe, CX on the route why any other airline would want to fly a route with six or possibly more direct competitors.

Meanwhile the US airlines are starting to clean up on services to non-hub British airports like Newcastle which the likes of BA, VA and bmi will not serve because of the costs and risks of trying to operate a long distance service by basing one or at most two aircraft at the resulting mini-hub. So if the Americans in the form of Boeing are right and the 787 wins out over the 380, what we will see is US airlines serving all the British non-hub airports (which include London Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow) and the British airlines flying to non-hub US airports with high competition on the trunk routes.


User currently offlineScamp From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3604 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 12):
This depends on yore definition of 'every major US airport'. The US airports British airlines can fly to are controlled. The most recently allowed expansion was when Las Vegas was added to the list of what Coa747 calls 'every major US airport'. Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways wanted to operate but only Virgin was allowed

Interesting. So...I was wrong. I wonder why, then, any US airline can serve any city in Britain, but the reverse is not true?

Quoting VV701 (Reply 12):
what we will see is US airlines serving all the British non-hub airports (which include London Stansted

I seem to recall several years ago American Airlines started service to Stansted. I remember that they made an advertising point that they were the only US carrier to serve all of London's airports (not sure the status of Luton at that time). I don't know how long the service lasted because it hasn't been scheduled in quite some time.



If it pisses off the right, I'm all for it.
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11460 posts, RR: 61
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3592 times:

Quoting Scamp (Reply 13):
I seem to recall several years ago American Airlines started service to Stansted. I remember that they made an advertising point that they were the only US carrier to serve all of London's airports (not sure the status of Luton at that time). I don't know how long the service lasted because it hasn't been scheduled in quite some time.

AA launched ORD-STN back in 1992. IIRC, it lasted for about a year.


User currently offlineHZ747300 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2004, 1656 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3559 times:
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Quoting Scamp (Reply 11):
All right, I oversimplified. Call me when Midway gets European service.

Can you picture a 777 rumbling down that 6800' runway? Awesome!

How close are these 'London' airports to London anyways? I thought that the appeal of Heathrow is that it is in London, whereas the others are of varying distances from London itself. Yanks always get laughed at when they say they are flying to Gatwick thinking it is in London--my best guess is that we think it is close because of the train you can take to Victoria Station.

The Bermuda II agreement which does not even allow codeshares on the AA/BA service is crap. CAL.N which is extremely healthy should be able to swoop in and buy available slots at Heathrow and start operations without a hassle. Whereas Air Zambia would be granted access to Heathrow immediately, Continental has to sit on the sidelines as wait.

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 10):
Well I can tell you one thing these 757 flights that Continental and now American have been launching these are not to UK good will flights as was suggested above. This is a brilliant strategy by CO and AA to bust BA and Virgin's Heathrow hub from the outside.

It would be interesting to learn if this was an intentional strategy, or just a happy accident. What is neat about this, is that it does allow for clean connections to the UK. However, loyalty schemes probably will keep BA as top banana for a while.



Keep on truckin'...
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3558 times:

Well I know in Houston alone BA and CO would love to serve both LHR and LGW non-stop, ...but sadly not anytime soon  Sad

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
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User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7401 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3466 times:

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 15):
How close are these 'London' airports to London anyways?

Only London City Airport is in London. In terms of traveling time Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at Heathrow (in Middlesex) are the nearest with a journey time of 15 minutes by train to London Paddington Station (which is the furthest station from central London of any of the terminii mentioned here). Terminal 4 at Heathrow (from which all BA flights to North America operate) is about 20 minutes from Paddington.

Gatwick is 30 mins from Victoria Station which is a short walk from Buckingham Palace and is the nearest terminus to London's West End,

Luton is 35 minutes from Liverpool Street Station (after a 5 minute ride in a connecting bus) which is the only London terminus actually in the financial district (City of London).

Stansted is 45 minutes from London Kings Cross station which is convenient for but not in the City of London.

All these airports are (in miles) nearer to Central London than, for example, Stockholm's main airport, Arlanda (ARN). Last time I was in Stockholm there was no rail link but the airport bus journey ended in down town Stockholm next to the railway terminus.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3434 times:

I'm surprised that no one has yet pointed out that a US-EU OpenSkies agreement seems much more likely than a new US-UK bilateral.

User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 38
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3403 times:

Quoting Jakob77 (Reply 1):
while it may not be fair to NW/CO/DL that they can't fly into LHR, the fact that only 2 carriers from each country can fly to/from LHR seems fair enough to me.

Because with the US being a much larger country, it would have to have either more airlines to provide the same coverage, or fewer super huge airlines covering more cities. The standard should be the same fraction of airlines, not the same number.

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 3):
In addition to expanding the BA/AA codeshare, in time BA might want to merge with another carrier in Europe. In my opinion, that will finally be the catalyst that opens LHR to all US carriers. BA would need approval from the US, if the merger involved another carrier that flew to the US

With BA watching LH and AF purchasing continental European airlines, this might come to pass sooner.

Quoting Scamp (Reply 13):
Interesting. So...I was wrong. I wonder why, then, any US airline can serve any city in Britain, but the reverse is not true?

Because the US is a larger market, with more large cities to serve than the UK has. Why give someone more access to your markets if their market isn't as interesting or sufficiently open? What you should be comparing is market sizes and accessibility.

Anyway, this doesn't change the fact that UK airlines have access from LHR to hubs of US airlines which don't have access to LHR. That seems inherently unfair.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineCO767FA From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 7):
Not really! From Heathrow, British carriers, along with US carriers, can only serve some cities, for example, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. BA and AA have to serve these cities from LGW!

Not to totally digress the conversation, but how did BA get approval to switch their DEN-LGW to DEN-LHR? I think they did the same in other cities (PHX???).


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 20):
Not to totally digress the conversation, but how did BA get approval to switch their DEN-LGW to DEN-LHR? I think they did the same in other cities (PHX???).

In a nutshell, DEN and PHX are both not designated gateways under the Bermuda II agreement. BA is able to serve LHR from DEN because it is a British carrier and is allowed to operate to US cities from LHR that have more than a certain amount of traffic and if there is no US carrier on the route. Hence, why BA was able to move DEN, SAN and PHX from LGW to LHR, but not DFW, IAH and ATL. I assume that if US started LGW-PHX than BA would have to move the route back to LGW.

[Edited 2005-09-19 17:53:44]


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User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7363 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3270 times:
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Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 19):
Anyway, this doesn't change the fact that UK airlines have access from LHR to hubs of US airlines which don't have access to LHR.

I didn't realise BD operate LHR-ORD or LHR-IAD. Perhaps you can tell us when those routes started.

David


User currently offlineBHXFAOTIPYYC From Portugal, joined Jun 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3254 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 18):
I'm surprised that no one has yet pointed out that a US-EU OpenSkies agreement seems much more likely than a new US-UK bilateral

I think you are correct, but my guess is that national governments do not want to had such control over to the EC in Brussels, certainly not the UK for sure.



Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3242 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 17):
Luton is 35 minutes from Liverpool Street Station (after a 5 minute ride in a connecting bus) which is the only London terminus actually in the financial district (City of London).

Stansted is 45 minutes from London Kings Cross station which is convenient for but not in the City of London.

You got it the wrong way round. Luton trains leave from Kings X. Stansted Express from Liverpool Street.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 19):
Because with the US being a much larger country, it would have to have either more airlines to provide the same coverage, or fewer super huge airlines covering more cities. The standard should be the same fraction of airlines, not the same number.



Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 19):
Because the US is a larger market, with more large cities to serve than the UK has. Why give someone more access to your markets if their market isn't as interesting or sufficiently open? What you should be comparing is market sizes and accessibility.

If I was a teeny weeny island country in the middle of the pacific which is really really popular with oversized american tourists, I am not allowed to compete with american airlines and profit from my island's sun and sea because I am too small compared to the US by population or land mass??? Where is your logic??? Now that's unfair protectionism. Americans speak so loudly about open, free markets in other countries but they have such obvious double standards when it comes to their own markets. Restrictions imposed by the US authorities on foreign carriers seem nothing more than to protect their own ailing airlines.

When you look at the EU where anyone from any member state can setup an airline to fly any routes within the EU, including domestic intra country hops, that's REAL OpenSkies - contrary to opening markets completely to american carriers in exchange for limited landing rights for the foreign carriers so that the americans can swamp and bust those foreign airlines on the routes.

Bermuda II may be there for capacity issues in the first place but I'm sure the reason why it's still there after so many years is partly because now we actually want to keep american carriers out of heathrow. Tough luck.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
25 A342 : Exactly. The world needs a worldwide open skies agreement where everybody is allowed to operate everything, any domestic route in a foreign country i
26 SHUPirate1 : Please tell me you are joking. I hope to god we never see British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, or even Air Koryo flying either JFK-LAX or LGA-ORD,
27 BigOrange : I don't think the UK has much choice in the matter other than pulling out of the EU altogether (which they should do IMHO) but that's straying off to
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