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Open Skies In Central America?  
User currently offlineChiguire From Venezuela, joined Sep 2004, 2005 posts, RR: 16
Posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

According to an article in "La Prensa" (Nicaragua), most Centralamerican countries have almost agreed in turning the flights between the countries to "domestic" flights.

http://www.laprensa.com.ni/archivo/2.../29/noticias/economia/146827.shtml

The countries involved are: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Although it is not clearly mentioned, this could mean no more passport controls (like the "Schengen" agreement in Europe).
And it means that the market access is much easier for other airlines than TACA - Aeropostal is mentioned here.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEHHO From Bulgaria, joined Dec 2005, 815 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3171 times:

Uhm... a common visa and immigration area and open skies are very different things. Open skies implies a sophisticated level of opening up to foreign parties, and may or may not include 5th and 8th freedom traffic rights, as well as rights for foreign companies to own assets in the aviation sector etc. etc. A common immigration area would need a political agreement, something I haven't heard in the media. I find the terminology used in the article, saying that "once internationa lflights will now become domestic" pretty amateurish. I mean, no state boundaries will change, and no Central American superstate is in the making, so international flights will remain international. In the end it mentions a "US company" called Aeropostal which would like to fly from Nicaragua to a set of other Cent-Am countries. This would seem like a 5th freedom issue. Still, a poorly researched article in my view.


"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
Although it is not clearly mentioned, this could mean no more passport controls (like the "Schengen" agreement in Europe).

It seems to be difficult because of visa requirements [eg. between Nicaraguans and Costaricans going between both countries.].


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

I really dont think open passport control would happen, first the article forgets to mention Panama which is part of the Integracion Centroamericana Group and also uses the unified entry form used in other central American countries. Second with the levels of illegal immigration that Costa Rica sees from Hondurans and the high levels of illegal immigrants in Panama and El Salvador elimination passport control would be like opening the US-Mexico Border. Recently Panama created a list of Latin American countries that need entry visa prior to coming to Panama, and I understand Costa Rica does the same with Hondurans, correct me if I am wrong.

Also an open skies that would not include panama would not be acceptable to Panamanian interest and would ruin what little cooperation between the two groups is left. A Central American open skies would give TA a significant advantage over central American routes and I am certain that CM would pressure and probably even challenge said agreement. Just look at what happened last year with CM's second daily San Salvador, the protectionist government blocked the route which CM had full authority to fly just because they were invading TA's turf. Until this type of protectionism ends in the Region a Open Skies will never work.


User currently offlineAer From Guatemala, joined Mar 2004, 1048 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3107 times:

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 2):
It seems to be difficult because of visa requirements



Quoting EHHO (Reply 1):
A common immigration area would need a political agreement



Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
I really dont think open passport control would happen

The agreements are in place and the national legislatures are workin on it, as well as the inmigration offices of each countries, and it will happen, Guatemala and Honduras are the pilot countries and the rest will follow, just like with the Central American passport, El Salvador was the pilot and the rest followed.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
first the article forgets to mention Panama

You have to remember that Panama is usually an observer and that they always change their positions with Central America; and that they are part of SICA doesn't mean they have to implement all regulations. The same with Belize and Dominican Republic.



nice and spacious airports in need of new airlines and flights... GUA or FRS anyone?... anyone at all?
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3073 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
A Central American open skies would give TA a significant advantage over central American routes

I 100% agree with you.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
and I am certain that CM would pressure and probably even challenge said agreement.

CM has the right to do so. But the reason ? Who knows !


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3034 times:

Quoting Aer (Reply 4):
You have to remember that Panama is usually an observer and that they always change their positions with Central America; and that they are part of SICA doesn't mean they have to implement all regulations. The same with Belize and Dominican Republic.

But remember that Panama along with Costa Rica and El Salvador (what I like to refer to as the "big 3" form the largest economies in the region and have the largest sphere of influence. SICA can not work without one of these three countries. Panama has a position of neutrality towards Central America, they would rather align themselves with the Andean Community because they dont see the economic benefit of a Central American union, other countries (Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala; the other 3) need to play catchup with the big 3 before any integration can work, that is why in my opinion a Central American passport is not a good idea, Costa Rica and El Salvador will be flooded with illegal immigration and crime that will be imported from the other 3 countries and I am grateful that Panama didn't join that movement.

Before we can have a Central American Union a la EU we need more economic development in the other countries, the disparity between the "big 3" and the rest is astonishing. I am a supporter of measured integration, small steps at a time, I think that in the rush to copy the EU SICA is moving way to fast and the results of too much to fast could be catastrophic. Call me a nationalist but I believe my country has to look after its interest first. Also I believe a Union between SICA and the Andean Community should be the ultimate goal of our governments.

And a open skies is a good Idea if and only if Panama is included, like it or not TA and CM are competitors and if you make an open skies without including panama you will hinder competition and promote protectionism, just like it is happening now, if there wasn't any protectionism fares would be significantly lower than they are now, prices for intra-central american flights are ridiculous to say the least.

Unfortunately all this talk is useless because our "politicos criollos" only care about lining their pockets during the 4-5 years they are in power, not about real economic advancement in our region. Countries like Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador have successful economies solely because of the resolve of private industry, if we left it up to our politicians we would still be driving in dirt roads and sending telegrams in our entire region.

Sorry for going out of topic but Central American politics frustrate me.


User currently offlineAer From Guatemala, joined Mar 2004, 1048 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
SICA can not work without one of these three countries.

And what's Guatemala, chopped liver? Guatemala is by all obvious means the largest market, economy, etc. of the region. I don't think it's fair to compare say that when these countries don't even have 5% of GT's population. Tell me one thing that has woked without GT in Central America usually GT is the one that sets the tone in Central America in regards to macroeconomic desissions, because again largest market, economy, etc.


Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
Costa Rica and El Salvador have successful economies solely because of the resolve of private industry

Add to that, the fact that their economies are soley based in services, and PA and SV are countries that don't have internal monetary policy (no idea how to translte "politica monetaria interna") at all. And believe me that makes a huge difference.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
copy the EU

Who says we want to be the EU? We want to be Central America or as it used to be called "La patria grande". Morazan would be very disapointed...



nice and spacious airports in need of new airlines and flights... GUA or FRS anyone?... anyone at all?
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2992 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):

But remember that Panama along with Costa Rica and El Salvador (what I like to refer to as the "big 3" form the largest economies in the region and have the largest sphere of influence. SICA can not work without one of these three countries. Panama has a position of neutrality towards Central America, they would rather align themselves with the Andean Community because they dont see the economic benefit of a Central American union, other countries (Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala; the other 3) need to play catchup with the big 3 before any integration can work, that is why in my opinion a Central American passport is not a good idea, Costa Rica and El Salvador will be flooded with illegal immigration and crime that will be imported from the other 3 countries and I am grateful that Panama didn't join that movement.

Are you sure what are you talking about ?

Don't mix apples and oranges.


User currently offlineAer From Guatemala, joined Mar 2004, 1048 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2992 times:

Just so no one says my comment is unfundamented, even the World Bank says it.

"Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America; however, poverty and inequality are high and social indicators are low relative to the country’s average income"

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTE...K:2865128~theSitePK:258554,00.html



nice and spacious airports in need of new airlines and flights... GUA or FRS anyone?... anyone at all?
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
and I am grateful that Panama didn't join that movement.

Don't be that happy yet. Only time will say.


User currently offlineMt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6647 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2915 times:
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Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
Second with the levels of illegal immigration that Costa Rica sees from Hondurans and the high levels of illegal immigrants in Panama and El Salvador elimination passport control would be like opening the US-Mexico Border.



Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
Costa Rica and El Salvador will be flooded with illegal immigration and crime that will be imported from the other 3 countries and I am grateful that Panama didn't join that movement.

That happens already - even if there was a common pasport - at least in El Salvador - there are no intitutions that go around asking for work permits or IDs. Besides most of the immigration from Nicaragua and Honduras mostly end up working in the fields where no one will ask them for documentation. Add to that hundreds of miles of unobserved borders.. The common passport wouldnt change a thing.

Quoting Aer (Reply 4):
You have to remember that Panama is usually an observer and that they always change their positions with Central America; and that they are part of SICA doesn't mean they have to implement all regulations. The same with Belize and Dominican Republic.

Just like CR. CR acts Central American when it suits its interests and turn it back on other countries when its not.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
Countries like Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador have successful economies solely because of the resolve of private industry, if we left it up to our politicians we would still be driving in dirt roads and sending telegrams in our entire region.

How very true... If you think about it businessmen need certain legal framework to be able to operate succesfully. That is why business men turn into politicans... It works!.

Quoting Aer (Reply 7):
Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
Costa Rica and El Salvador have successful economies solely because of the resolve of private industry

Add to that, the fact that their economies are soley based in services

How big is the tourist industry in Guatemala? Id say that is a service..



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 11):
Just like CR. CR acts Central American when it suits its interests and turn it back on other countries when its not.

Wait a minute. It's a sovereign act contemplated in our Constitution. We are not obligated in any way to accept impositions from other countries.


User currently offlineAer From Guatemala, joined Mar 2004, 1048 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 11):

How big is the tourist industry in Guatemala?

True, but then again the components of the rest of the economy, most not services. Although as a friend says "providig the world with coffee, sugar, maquilas, and bannanas sometimes feels like we are providing the world a service."



nice and spacious airports in need of new airlines and flights... GUA or FRS anyone?... anyone at all?
User currently offlineMt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6647 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2798 times:
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Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 12):
Wait a minute. It's a sovereign act contemplated in our Constitution. We are not obligated in any way to accept impositions from other countries

Thats right. It just comes off as a very shady stance.



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineAer From Guatemala, joined Mar 2004, 1048 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2703 times:

Well Honduran news paper "La Prensa" must have read this post. Here's what they wrote on Oct. 4th. Sorry, in Spanish.

"Eliminan fronteras aéreas
A excepción de Costa Rica, que mantiene una posición ambivalente en materia de integración, los presidentes de Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras y Nicaragua decidieron eliminar las fronteras aéreas para reducir al mínimo los trámites en las aduanas y en las oficinas de migración.

De esta forma, los vuelos entre estos países serán considerados locales, lo que evitará a los pasajeros hacer largas filas para revisar sus pasaportes y chequear sus maletas.

Lo que queda vigente, salvo que se decida lo contrario en una nueva reunión, son los pagos de impuestos de salida en cada uno de los países. En el caso de Honduras, el impuesto es de 30 dólares.

La decisión adoptada por los presidentes se suma a la que ya habían tomado en otra cumbre en materia terrestre. Con esta disposición se pretende facilitar el movimiento turístico hacia uno y otro país y está basada en el Convenio Constitutivo de la Organización Mundo Maya, adoptado en Guatemala, el 14 de agosto de 1992."

http://www.laprensahn.com/pais_nota.php?id04962=21294&t=1159934400



nice and spacious airports in need of new airlines and flights... GUA or FRS anyone?... anyone at all?
User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4763 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2688 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
I really dont think open passport control would happen

It could be said that it's already happening in the ground... we can already travel between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua just with an ID. The idea is to extend this to air travel, simple as that.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 11):
How big is the tourist industry in Guatemala? Id say that is a service..

Some numbers from 2005:

Exports - $3,644.8 million
"Remesas" - $2,992.82 million (anyone know how to translate it?)
Tourism - $868.9 million

Tourism is growing, indeed, but it's still far from the largest source of income. Though I believe that there is still a lot of potential...

Quoting Aer (Reply 7):
We want to be Central America or as it used to be called "La patria grande". Morazan would be very disapointed...

 checkmark 

Quoting Aer (Reply 15):
Well Honduran news paper "La Prensa" must have read this post. Here's what they wrote on Oct. 4th.

Prensa Libre had a similar article this morning (again, in Spanish): http://www.prensalibre.com/pl/2006/octubre/04/153100.html



Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
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