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Britain To Agree To Open Skies...Strings Attached  
User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8191 times:

It looks like Britain is set to agree to EU-US Open Skies, but on the condition that the EU supports the following British amendments:


  • Implementation at LHR to be delayed until March 2008 so BA can move into T5
  • If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers are not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.


EU ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU-US Open Skies...let's see what happens!

Sources:
Daily Mail Group
Reuters UK

[Edited 2007-03-21 18:49:18]

73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8174 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
Implementation at LHR to be delayed until March 2008 so BA can move into T5

This seems reasonable.

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
# If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers is not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.

Does this come with reciprocity?



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineVirgin747LGW From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8140 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers is not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.

I never understood why the US is so against this, i mean the UK let a company from a different country take over its major airports let alone its airlines! Obviously there should be some security from companies located in countries that the US is suspiscious of, but c'mon this is Virgin-based in the UK (americas closest ally) we are talking about! its ridiculous


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8064 times:

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 2):
I never understood why the US is so against this, i mean the UK let a company from a different country take over its major airports let alone its airlines!

Interesting that you should cite that example. BAA Plc. owns and/or operates several U.S. airports, including PIT and IND. BAA is now owned by a Spanish company and the U.S. Government did not object.

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 2):
Obviously there should be some security from companies located in countries that the US is suspiscious of, but c'mon this is Virgin-based in the UK (americas closest ally) we are talking about! its ridiculous

This has nothing to do with xenophobia or security concerns and everything to do with market protectionism.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineVirgin747LGW From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8014 times:

[

Quoting N328KF (Reply 3):
This has nothing to do with xenophobia or security concerns and everything to do with market protectionism.

Why do US airlines need protecting? i think they re big and strong enough to do it themselves, just look at southwest i dont think anyone can stop them


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7992 times:

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 4):

Why do US airlines need protecting? i think they re big and strong enough to do it themselves, just look at southwest i dont think anyone can stop them

I'm not defending the practice. I think it would hasten the inevitable consolidation that is needed in North America. But some of the weaker players (and by this, I don't mean "smaller") might die off.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineVirgin747LGW From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7951 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 5):
I'm not defending the practice. I think it would hasten the inevitable consolidation that is needed in North America. But some of the weaker players (and by this, I don't mean "smaller") might die off

so you agree that american carriers should be able to be owned by EU companies?


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7923 times:

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 6):
so you agree that american carriers should be able to be owned by EU companies?

Only if the converse is true, which currently is not.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineVirgin747LGW From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7909 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 7):
Only if the converse is true, which currently is not.

sorry i didnt know rhat, i think it should be alllowed both ways as this will stop airlines hiding behind their governments and force them to compete, which can only be good for the passenger


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7792 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers are not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.

Does anyone else see this as extremely problematic, for the massive investments sure to come by American carriers in Heathrow slots, only to have a possible cloud of uncertainty hang over them between 2008 and 2010?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineHumberside From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 4914 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7792 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
Implementation at LHR to be delayed until March 2008 so BA can move into T5

Message to DfT - you no longer own BA and they are not the only UK airline so stop protecting them



Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2309 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7714 times:

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 2):
I never understood why the US is so against this, i mean the UK let a company from a different country take over its major airports let alone its airlines!

Are you comparing the UK market to the entire US market?



The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7715 times:

This is not an agreement. They are trying to force their certain viewpoint that was NOT agreed to by saying 2010 is the deadline to "do it anyway" or it doesn't count.

The USA is already wary of this agreement under our new leadership, and having the UK take this stand could kill it. Of course, it's brilliant, because they can claim it was the USA who is killing it, despite the UK changing the agreement! The UK can talk to the EU all they want, but the USA and the EU ALREADY NEGOTIATED and the UK lost on this point. The UK, in essence (and actually really BA, since VS is for the agreement), is throwing out those negotiations and setting it's own outcome. What exactly was the point of the negotiations then?

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 2):
I never understood why the US is so against this, i mean the UK let a company from a different country take over its major airports let alone its airlines!

Just as I state over and over when this comes up. The UK has made the huge mistake of selling their entire infrastructure to other countries, and their answer is to force other countries to also make that mistake because it's too late for them. Why should we be forced to make that same mistake? Fairness? Equivalent stupidity?

Also funny how when dealing with QF, that same argument doesn't get made by many on this forum. When dealing with QF, it's all about losing identity and selling out and all that. But the double standard re: America is how dare we protect our internal markets from foreign ownership? It's just protectionism. But the SAME result would come once this passed and foreign airlines bought out our airlines. We'd lose many jobs here and some of our airlines would be gutted in favor of LCC spinoffs and foreign owner/carriers taking over key routes.

I'm not sure what the answer is, as I see major issues with what the UK has allowed to happen to their country, but I also see room for more foreign ownership in airlines in the US as long as control isn't given over (similar to how the ports are operated here).

But I don't need the UK or it's citizens trying to combine open skies with a completely different issue. Somehow the USA has been able to negotiate open sky agreements with other countries without the ownership provisions, as have many other nations around the world with many other nations. Are all you UK citizens claiming all those hundreds of open skies deals around the world aren't REAL open skies if they don't open up ownership?

Or are you just applying a different standard to the USA...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11116 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7630 times:

The U.K. government, BA's comment's notwithstanding, is being prudent and realistic. The know this is a done-deal and they know they can't realistically hold up something that the entire rest of Europe wants without facing some major political consequences (not that being Europe's odd man out has ever really bothered such a Eurosceptic culture). Nonetheless, if Britain is basically offering the terms as described in the Mail, then yes, this basically amounts to complete surrender on the part of the U.K. in terms of holding out for something better with the U.S. Since we all know and have known for a long time that the offer -- from the U.S. end -- was never going to get better, it's smart that the U.K. is finally just picking up the pieces and moving on. BA will, no doubt, do the same relatively soon.

I also find this excerpt from the article telling:

'The deal on the table falls short', he said. 'If a US carrier can operate from New York to London and on to Frankfurt, but an EU carrier can't operate from London to New York and on to, say San Francisco, then there remains work to be done.' But he also hinted that Britain may be willing to compromise with a 'phased' approach'.

If BA or the U.K. honestly thinks that the U.S. is ever going to agree to complete Open Skies with cabotage, they are completely delusional. Once the U.S. and E.U. strike a deal that opens up the markets and, most importantly for the U.S., opens up Heathrow to other U.S. carriers, the U.S. is basically not going to give the E.U. the time of day down the road when the Europeans inevitably do start making noise about cabotage again. If protectionists in Congress weren't even content to let Europeans own non-controlling, minority interests in U.S. carriers, than I see simply no way whatsoever that the U.S. would ever allow a foreign flag carrier to fly domestic U.S. passengers.

I am also interested, as I said on another thread on this topic here on A.net a few days ago, about the true impact this will have on BA. I read that Walsh, smartly and honestly, said that in the short-run, the financial hit from this liberalization would likely be "managable," and might possibly even turn out to be a positive in the long-run, and I think he is right. While BA is no doubt going to see its ultra-premium yields on LHR-U.S. sectors eroded by more competition, I think this could also lead to BA finally being able to compete on a level playing field with continental carriers that don't suffer from a dual hub (a la LHR/LGW) problem across the Atlantic. Also, the AA-BA Antitrust Immunity that would likely follow this deal within a matter of months would no doubt bring tens (if not millions) of dollars to both airlines through joint scheduling and pricing, and better connectivity.

Should be very interesting to watch this whole thing play out.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
This seems reasonable.

I agree completely. Delaying the deal by a few months seems like a very reasonable compromise, and something I have no doubt the U.S. will agree to, especially because the U.S. knows full well that even if the deal went through a few months earlier, as planned, Continental and Delta and the other U.S. carriers would have basically nowhere to operate at Heathrow's already-overstretched terminals. Once BA moves over to T5 in 2008, and opens up almost half of Heathrow's gate capacity, there will be ample terminal space for Continental, Delta or any other airline that wants to come join the fun.

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 4):
Why do US airlines need protecting?

I don't know if it is just protecting, so much as it is also about the equity of the trade. While I think that many (myself included) may ideological and theoretically subscribe to the concept of a completely free and open U.S.-E.U. air market with no restrictions or barriers among carriers, many also recognize that, at least from the American side, it would be far from an equal trade. Giving E.U. carriers the right to fly in the U.S. is giving them a piece of by-far the largest and most extensive domestic air travel market on earth, and also one of the most open and unrestricted. If BA or Lufthansa wanted to fly from Kansas City to Houston with 10 747s per day, there would be nothing stopping them beyond being able to find suitable gates at those airports. The same would definitely not be true, however, of, say, AA or Northwest starting an hourly shuttle between London and Paris. Every major airport of any consequence in Europe, serving any major city on the continent, is heavily slot-restricted and capacity-constrained. Whereas cabotage in the U.S. would give E.U. carriers basically free and clear access to basically every U.S. airport save a few (O'Hare, LaGuardia, Reagan, Orange County, etc.), cabotage in Europe would give U.S. carriers access to basically nothing because slots and facilities at just about every major airport in the region are all already taken.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
Does anyone else see this as extremely problematic, for the massive investments sure to come by American carriers in Heathrow slots, only to have a possible cloud of uncertainty hang over them between 2008 and 2010?

For precisely the reason you state, I doubt there will be much certainty. Populist U.S. lawmakers are not going to be thrilled about allowing foreigners to own larger (albeit still non-controlling minority) stakes in U.S. carriers, but I think they will be even less thrilled about screwing over airlines like Continental and Delta, which are U.S. companies that employ thousands and pump tens of billions into the economy, by jeapordizing the millions in investment that those companies will, as you right say, no doubt sink into Heathrow slots within minutes of this deal going into effect.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7576 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 13):
I think they will be even less thrilled about screwing over airlines like Continental and Delta, which are U.S. companies that employ thousands and pump tens of billions into the economy, by jeapordizing the millions in investment that those companies will, as you right say, no doubt sink into Heathrow slots within minutes of this deal going into effect.

Hopefully "our side" will recall it was the British who tore up Bermuda I in 1976, and reject this unreasonable condition (I think giving BA until '08 to move to T5 is fine). Certainty must be an essential part of the new agreement, and I can only wonder how the ability to revoke the new Open Skies treaty could be read as anything other than bowing to "special interests", which would devalue the spirit of the agreement from the get-go.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7565 times:

I just want to add, the USA and EU negotiated in good faith. For the EU to entertain or adopt the 2010 deadline is not in good faith. Why should we in the USA feel as if any future negotiations would be in good faith?

If the UK didn't want to be part of the EU, they shouldn't have joined...

Something to think about.

As for the 2008 provision, that is a bit different. I can see an April 1 2008 compromise being workable, but that would include all carriers including VS CDG-JFK, for example. That allows all the carriers to prepare their home markets for "attack" from other carriers.

But to only provide BA with that protection at LHR while not affording LH protection at FRA or AA protection at MIA, for example, it's also a request that's not in good faith.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 13):
'The deal on the table falls short', he said. 'If a US carrier can operate from New York to London and on to Frankfurt, but an EU carrier can't operate from London to New York and on to, say San Francisco, then there remains work to be done.' But he also hinted that Britain may be willing to compromise with a 'phased' approach'.

Again, this gets to the fundamental mistake the UK is making. They are equating LHR-FRA with JFK-SFO. A 5th freedom flight with cabotage. And they are doing so because the EU is trying to equate itself with the USA. We are one nation, the EU are not. If they want to become one nation, bully for them. Do it.

Why can't the USA come back and say: if BA has the right to fly JFK-MEX (something I believe they can get should they want it under current agreements), why can't we fly LHR-MAN? Is that what the UK wants? Really? I doubt it. But we can just say: NAFTA is sort of like the EU constitution, so we are going to redefine North America into one nation, and now any flights within North America are cabotage. That's what the UK is saying, after all...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineVega From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7509 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers are not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.

Why would the U.S. agree to this and put themselves in a position of negotiating a whole new treaty AFTER 4 or 5 U.S. carriers had already taken advantage of the previous agreement and started extensive new services to Europe? I can imagine the reaction of those carriers and their political allies if told they had to discontinue operations because Open Skies was terminated in 2010. If the U.S. accepted this condition, I'd bet very few, if any, U.S. carriers would take advantage of a 2 or so year treaty and commit significant new resources to Europe . The same situation would probably curtail expansion plans for European carriers to the U.S.. The E.U. and U.S. should call the U.K's bluff, sign the agreement and leave BA and the U.K. out of it. FRA, etal. could then become the "new" LHR for worldwide connectivity.  sarcastic 


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11116 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7466 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Again, this gets to the fundamental mistake the UK is making.

And that underlies the even larger fundamental issue that the U.K. and the rest of the E.U. is eventually going to have to actually sort out. They got lucky by finally getting the Americans to agree to anything on this matter, but the issues of national sovereignty and the true nature of the European Union extend far beyond the commercial aviation sector, and are no doubt going to persist until a definitive decision is made: is the European Union a country or a confederation?

As you, Ikramerica, rightly say, if it is just a confederation (as the U.S. and just about everyone recognizes it) that the comical British argument comparing LHR-FRA with JFK-SFO is, as you say, a "fundamental mistake." In the eyes of international law, the United States is a sovereign nation, and thus a flight between two domestic points within that sovereign nation by a carrier wearing a foreign flag constitutes, under the articles of the International Civil Aviation Organization's Freedoms of the Air, Eighth and/or Ninth Freedom cabotage. On the other hand, if a U.S. carrier carrying local passengers between a point in the United Kingdom, a sovereign nation, and Germany, another sovereign nation, then this is a Beyond Fifth Freedom right, and not an Eighth and/or Ninth Freedom cabotage right.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Why can't the USA come back and say: if BA has the right to fly JFK-MEX (something I believe they can get should they want it under current agreements), why can't we fly LHR-MAN? Is that what the UK wants? Really? I doubt it. But we can just say: NAFTA is sort of like the EU constitution, so we are going to redefine North America into one nation, and now any flights within North America are cabotage. That's what the UK is saying, after all...

I like it.  Smile


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7466 times:

Quoting Vega (Reply 16):
The E.U. and U.S. should call the U.K's bluff, sign the agreement and leave BA and the U.K. out of it. FRA, etal. could then become the "new" LHR for worldwide connectivity.

I've stated a few times in the past that if the U.K. continues to protect LHR, then CDG, AMS and FRA will continue to increase in influence, marginalizing LHR in the long run. This is the U.K.'s game to lose. AMS exploded in traffic after the U.S.-Netherlands Open Skies agreement, and while many will most likely take me to task for this, I personally believe that Heathrow isn't all that important to the bulk of O&D passengers between the U.S. and the U.K. Certainly there is a market for Heathrow, and Gatwick is limited by its single runway, but if you're going to London, there isn't much wrong with flying to Gatwick, in my personal opinion, and I quite like the airport.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7398 times:

Quoting Humberside (Reply 10):
Message to DfT - you no longer own BA and they are not the only UK airline so stop protecting them

I don't think it is so much protecting them, more like there is already going to be a major shift in the logistics at LHR going on in 2008 with T5 opening, T2 closing and the subsequent re-shuffle of all the airlines between the terminals. Adding more carriers to this would just be more of a nightmare than it already will be.

It would also allow the Airport Authority to see which terminal has the required amount of gate space needed at the right times of day for the new entrants to LHR.

2008 isn't all that far away. It is round about 12 months now until T5 opens.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineDiscoverCSG From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 812 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7375 times:

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 4):
Why do US airlines need protecting? i think they re big and strong enough to do it themselves

Well, how many of the big 6 have been in bankruptcy this decade? Frankly, many of our airlines are not in a position to compete with the major European and Asian carriers, either financially or in terms of their product offering. Then, some of our carriers (CO mainly, and to a lesser extent AA and US maybe) might do okay with that sort of competition.

The protection of our carriers is bad for the consumer - we don't get as many choices, and our home carriers aren't exposed to competition from outside carriers with (in many cases) stronger products.

On the other hand, I can see why no politician wants his name on the failure of several US carriers.

It will be interesting to see who wins.


User currently offlineAirFrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2822 posts, RR: 42
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7337 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):

* Implementation at LHR to be delayed until March 2008 so BA can move into T5
* If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers are not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.




Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):

# Implementation at LHR to be delayed until March 2008 so BA can move into T5
# If US objections to EU ownership of American carriers are not lifted by 2010, the EU will automatically withdraw from and therefore terminate Open Skies, leading to a new round of negotiations.

In other words, they don't agree. They just want their way, and realize that they can't get it now, so they are going to try again in three years. The US side might agree on the Heathrow restrictions (I doubt it), but they will not agree to end this in three years. It's a poison pill.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7296 times:

Wow. Play this back 62 years to the Chicago convention. US representatives wanted NO economic regulation of the industry. No ownership and control rules. No traffic right restrictions. European side, with weak (or no) airlines following WWII wanted to protect their industry. US side didn't get what they wanted - settled for Bermuda I the following year and the rest is history.

Fast Forward to 2007 - all but one US airlines in, or recently in, bankruptcy. 1500 job losses in the last 12 months. etc. etc. etc.

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it again. These archaic rules are bad for our industry. They need to be changed. They need to be changed soon.


User currently offlineBmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7285 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
NAFTA is sort of like the EU constitution, so we are going to redefine North America into one nation, and now any flights within North America are cabotage. That's what the UK is saying, after all...

Hardly! The EU is a law making body that has authority over the individual nation states within it, with a supreme court that over rules the courts of the individual nation states. You cannot possibly compare what is a free trade area (NAFTA) and the EU. The day that US, Canadian and Mexican citizens participate in elections to a NAFTA parliament, and a NAFTA supreme court can overrule the US supreme court, and NAFTA takes over responsibilty for international trade and commerce aggreements on behalf of all it's members, is the day you can compare NAFTA to to the EU.


User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 38
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7284 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
Does anyone else see this as extremely problematic, for the massive investments sure to come by American carriers in Heathrow slots, only to have a possible cloud of uncertainty hang over them between 2008 and 2010?



Quoting Commavia (Reply 13):
If BA or the U.K. honestly thinks that the U.S. is ever going to agree to complete Open Skies with cabotage, they are completely delusional. Once the U.S. and E.U. strike a deal that opens up the markets and, most importantly for the U.S., opens up Heathrow to other U.S. carriers, the U.S. is basically not going to give the E.U. the time of day down the road when the Europeans inevitably do start making noise about cabotage again. If protectionists in Congress weren't even content to let Europeans own non-controlling, minority interests in U.S. carriers, than I see simply no way whatsoever that the U.S. would ever allow a foreign flag carrier to fly domestic U.S. passengers.

The reality is that this won't happen because the US will take away 6th freedom rights and limit EU airlines access to US airports.

Quoting Virgin747LGW (Reply 2):
I never understood why the US is so against this, i mean the UK let a company from a different country take over its major airports let alone its airlines! Obviously there should be some security from companies located in countries that the US is suspiscious of, but c'mon this is Virgin-based in the UK (americas closest ally) we are talking about! its ridiculous

I think there economic reasons as well. I would say there are far more revenue opportunities in the US air market because the US is a very large country geographically and depends more on air service for travel. Most US airports are in general not very constrained in terms of runways and facilities making it easier for an airline to start up and become big. 5th freedom routes within the EU would be a lot harder to take advantage of. Giving domestic rights to EU carriers would be an unequal trade.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Again, this gets to the fundamental mistake the UK is making. They are equating LHR-FRA with JFK-SFO. A 5th freedom flight with cabotage. And they are doing so because the EU is trying to equate itself with the USA. We are one nation, the EU are not. If they want to become one nation, bully for them. Do it.

There are some practical differences too. The LHR-FRA segment and JFK-SFO segment are so different distance wise. The equipment used on LHR-JFK will be more suitable for JFK-SFO than LHR-FRA. And then you need double the slots at LHR for that EU flight.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Why can't the USA come back and say: if BA has the right to fly JFK-MEX (something I believe they can get should they want it under current agreements), why can't we fly LHR-MAN? Is that what the UK wants? Really? I doubt it. But we can just say: NAFTA is sort of like the EU constitution, so we are going to redefine North America into one nation, and now any flights within North America are cabotage. That's what the UK is saying, after all...



Quoting Commavia (Reply 17):
They got lucky by finally getting the Americans to agree to anything on this matter, but the issues of national sovereignty and the true nature of the European Union extend far beyond the commercial aviation sector, and are no doubt going to persist until a definitive decision is made: is the European Union a country or a confederation?

Let's even forget the notion of what the status of the EU is in general and stick to aviation. European countries are often only willing to negotiate under the EU banner when negotiating with the US. EU countries have negotiated or altered bilaterals with other countries on an individual basis despite the ECJ ruling. I believe both the UK and Germany have new agreements with India for example. And EU countries retain their individual representation in the ICAO. And EU majors seem disinclined to compete with each other at each others hubs. If EU countries gave up individual ICAO representation and stopped negotiating individual bilaterals with everyone else the US should offer to give up 5th freedom routes within the EU.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
I've stated a few times in the past that if the U.K. continues to protect LHR, then CDG, AMS and FRA will continue to increase in influence, marginalizing LHR in the long run. This is the U.K.'s game to lose.



Quoting Vega (Reply 16):
FRA, etal. could then become the "new" LHR for worldwide connectivity.

A great deal of US-UK traffic is O&D.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
AMS exploded in traffic after the U.S.-Netherlands Open Skies agreement, and while many will most likely take me to task for this, I personally believe that Heathrow isn't all that important to the bulk of O&D passengers between the U.S. and the U.K.

It may not be important to the bulk of passengers, but it is certainly more important to business travelers and those who buy premium seats. US airlines do know there is a yield difference between the LHR and LGW.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
25 Express1 : Correct me if i'm wrong, if this Open skies deal does go ahead and everyone is happy, what next?, for a start, LHR,LGW are not big enough to cope with
26 AeroWesty : Yes, that's been proven time and again, and I'm not questioning it, hence why I believe there will be a mad rush for LHR slots at the first possible
27 Bmiexpat : The European Court decreed that individual bi laterals are illegal, and that in future all new agreements would be decided upon on an EU basis. Howev
28 ANother : Dave, such wisdom in a short post. The illusion of the 'crown jewels' of London's Heathrow airport is soon to be dashed. One, and likely the only, re
29 Vega : "A great deal" is a subjective statement and IMO an unsupportable negotiating point. Current flights to LHR by U.S. carriers would likely not be disr
30 Post contains links Concorde001 : Reuters seems to be confirming now that the British Government will only support EU-US Open Skies if the two conditions are met by the EU. "If the res
31 Commavia : That's an entirely seperate issue. The U.K. needs to stop this ridiculous crap about pandering to a tiny minority of people who are holding up the vi
32 Kaitak : It all depends on how much the UK wants the US to terminate Open Skies; there is no great problem with a six month delay for LHR, until T5 is up and
33 Jfk777 : The issue of cabotage is rhettoric and nothing more. The days of the multi-stop international flights are over, the days when BA flew a leg of an Orie
34 Concorde001 : I'm not sure that this is the case. If I'm not mistaken didn't the EU Transport Commissioner urge Britain, indeed all Europen countries to accept the
35 Panamair : Actually, the US carriers would be more than able to compete on a financial level; many US carriers, including most legacies through cuts (and Ch.11
36 IADLHR : What if there is somne unexpected delay between now and March, 2008 when T5 opens? Say for instance that the baggage system doesnt work properly like
37 Post contains links Atmx2000 : I think there's more than one US airline that hasn't been bankruptcy. Of course, part of the problem is that one suspects that EU is asking for this
38 IADLHR : That might be part of the motive too, the UK knows that the US airlines wopuld not start new service knowing the 2010 deadline was hanging over them.
39 Commavia : T5 delay or no T5 delay, I doubt the U.S. will ever agree to another delay. This is Britain's one freeby because Bush doesn't want to totally screw T
40 Express1 : To what sort of the tiny manority of people are you aiming at, the residents? and how can you class this as a seperate issue, the UK cant agree to Op
41 Bmiexpat : The EU declared them illegal because they went against EU free trade laws..... when the bilaterals were originally agreed the EU/EEC/or whatever it w
42 StarGoldLHR : You two statements are typically biased.. one in favour of the EU the other against the EU. Which side of the fence are you sitting on Ikra ?
43 AeroWesty : Part of what you wrote is why I believe that if the U.K. continues to protect LHR, it will diminish in its importance. There are already other gatewa
44 Humberside : Wont CO/NW/DL go to T4 with the other SkyTeam carriers and US to T1 with the Star carriers? Doesn't seem that way to me at the moment What national i
45 Bmiexpat : Whether LHR only has (between BA and bmi) 9 domestic connections to international flights, the worldwide network of destinations and frequencies from
46 AeroWesty : Yes, I understand that, and have made myself clear on that issue, I believe. However, with the projected growth of traffic just in the next 5 years,
47 VV701 : My interpretation of a true Open Skies agreement is that if the airlines of one party can offer a specific service, so the airlines of the other part
48 BA747YYZ : You all know why the delays there... So BA can buy as many spots at LHR as they can get a hold of before the American carriers can start buying. Also
49 Commavia : First off, the reason the two are seperate is because, as the last few weeks has clearly shown, one is not required for the other. E.U.-U.S. Open Ski
50 HZ747300 : Why are they so hell bent on owning American-based airlines? I don't get it. Ex-Southwest most of them are not engines of profitiability. I would say
51 Kaitak : So, what does the UK realistically expect will happen if it vetoes this deal? My expectation would be that by the time Douglas Alexander got back to h
52 ADent : If the UK is so upset over LHR-FRA flights by US carriers then ban it in the EU-US 'bi-lateral'. US Congress is NOT going to allow US cabotage is any
53 TristarSteve : Lets be sensible. This is not a pro BA thing. LHR is not only slot limited, the terninals and gates are limited as well. If CO bought a slot pair fro
54 Post contains images Scotron11 : You all know why the delays there... So BA can buy as many spots at LHR as they can get a hold of before the American carriers can start buying. And
55 Eugdog : BA objections are purely due to self-interest. But ultimately the British econommy is more important the protecting BA/Virgin/AA/UA cosy cartel at Hea
56 Scotron11 : "what is more important - the British travelors or the British Airlines". BA is not Britain - it is a profit making carrier who get more then enough
57 Eugdog : Did BA pay for the slots in a free market? They were given to the the airline in perpetuity when the airline was privatized. According to the Sunday T
58 Concorde001 : If I'm not mistaken, slots are not allowed to be "bought/sold" within the EU. Slots are allocated to airlines using by an independent company which do
59 Post contains links ANother : See my post here it's 40.6% for Summer 2007. Of major European hub airports it is the lowest holding by a flag carrier. Slots at UK restricted airpor
60 BCALBOY : When BA starting using many of these slots ,they were freely available to anyone. None of the original users of LHR slots had to pay for them. BMI wi
61 Post contains images Scotron11 : See my post here it's 40.6% for Summer 2007. Of major European hub airports it is the lowest holding by a flag carrier. When BA starting using many o
62 Post contains links Concorde001 : No more rumours from the media ... Britain has now given its support. It has been confirmed that EU-US Open Skies has been approved by EU ministers. C
63 Mutu : More angry ranting from you!! You make a good point BUT the US and EU insisted that this agreement be governed on an EU wide basis ,What will be inte
64 DiscoverCSG : Well, not really. There are, in fact, very few slot-controlled US airports. LGA, JFK (sort of), DCA, and LGB come to mind. None of these is the large
65 StarGoldLHR : i'm not sure about the US having cabotage in the EU, whilst no recoprocity is coming from the US. However europe has a wild card that will eat the US
66 Coa747 : EU member nations not only has slot restrictions but curfew restrictions as well. Those same types of restrictions are no longer legal in the US. Only
67 Panamair : Just as BA or LH or AF or IB will all stand no chance on domestic US routes in a head-to-head with B6, Virgin America, WN, FL, etc., especially since
68 Post contains links United777atGU : It got approved by the EU: WSJ: EU Ministers Approve 'Open Skies' Pact Forbes: EU Clips British Carriers' Wings with U.S. Deal
69 BCALBOY : Media got it wrong again. This article says 'BA forced to give up lucrative take-off/landing slots @ LHR'. There is nothing in the agreement that for
70 USPIT10L : Actually, BAA just runs the concessions at IND and the AirMall in PIT, not the airport itself. PIT is run by the Allegheny County Airport Authority a
71 BN727 : Open Skies equal skies? The Britts need to play fair if US carriers are to compete domestically in British airports. Historically US carriers are char
72 ANother : Rubbish.
73 Multimark : This so blatantly ridiculous. Funny how the USA can hollow out is industrial base by exporting manufacturing jobs to China, welcome Japanese auto fir
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