I am not sure if this topic was discussed earlier, I suspect it might have (indirectly) in the past. Still, I would like to get people's thoughts on this issue, given current state of the airline industry, especially in the US. Here is a "new" development.
The Globe and Mail (link
) and CTV (link
) reported that Canadian Transport Minister Jean Lapierre wants to pursue an new open-skies agreement with US, when Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta visits Ottawa later this month. If approved, US airlines will be allowed to carry Canadian passengers between Canadian cities, and vice-versa for Canadian airlines.
What is interesting that the US secretary is in Ottawa to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Canada/US first "open-skies" agreement, which I think only lacks the 8th freedom (cabotage).
In the not too distant past, the Americans were very welcoming to the open-skies concept, and so was (and still is) Air Canada's CEO Milton. But a lot has changed, including 9/11, high oil prices, US and UA
near-) bankruptcies, not to mention the already high level of competition in both countries right now.
What do the US administration/airlines/public think of the idea of a full open-skies agreement. I personally see it as just another form of free-trade, and one of the final steps in deregulating the airline industry. But, like many others, I am not quite sure if this is the right time for such an agreement. It could be the final straw that could break some airlines, ruining some people's livelihoods.
Any thoughts ???