Two of the biggest operations using 5th freedom rights are UA
. Both of them have 5th freedom rights from Japan to most countries in Asia. NW
's rights date back to the 50s when aviation was being established in Japan, and UA
got its rights from its buyout of Pan Am's Pacific operations. UA
are the only two US airlines that have these 5th freedom rights from Japan, and both carriers make extensive use of them by operating a hub/focus city at NRT
. It is very difficult to get rights like this. No other US airline has been able to do so.
There are also some examples in Europe. US carriers in the past have had full rights out of some countries in Europe and TWA and Pan Am both operated short haul flights within Europe. Later airlines like UA and DL operated flights within europe, but today most of this is gone since there are smaller planes flying nonstop from the US rather than having passengers connect in LHR
. The days of having 747s fly between JFK and LHR/CDG/FRA and having all the passengers connect on both sides are gone. Demand for transatlantic travel has gone up, so double connections are no longer necessary. There still are some examples of through flights though, like DL
-BOM and NW
-BOM. Now that aviation is well established in the entire world, fifth freedom rights aren't used as much. Carriers like Qantas and Pan Am that flew across the Pacific in the old days were some of the only flights around, so they had fifth freedom rights that brought aviation to some smaller locations and countries that did not have their own carriers capable of crossing the ocean. But nowadays almost every single country has its own airlines so the need for US carriers to span the oceans has dwindled. It is really a fascinating subject to look into.
[Edited 2005-01-05 04:14:37]
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