"So I take it you are in favor of foreign ownership of US airlines? Only qualified ones, in your opinion, of course. I couldn't care less! I see no difference between ownership of an automobile company and ownership of an airline, no matter what country it's in."
I have zero problems whatsoever with the general notion of a foreign entity owning or controlling a major stake in a US airline. However, as a matter of sound economic and commercial policy, a necessary minimum precondition to allowing increased foreign ownership must be unrestricted access by US carriers to the other country in the context of an Open Skies agreement. Note that I am not saying that US carriers should be allowed to start domestic ops in the other country, or that US persons should be granted similar ownership rights - the point is that an inability of US airlines to fly unrestricted to the other country must serve as a bar to increased access to - and economic gain from - the US aviation market.
owns 20% of BD
, and can gain a controlling interest if Bishop (Michael) decided he wanted them to. So what?"
For starters, the UK and Germany have unrestricted access to each other's aviation markets - last time I checked, LH
isn't subject to arcane rules on flying into LHR
, and BA
/BD don't have to fight over FRA
access. If the UK allowed US carriers the same level of access to UK markets/airports it allows German carriers, then Branson can own/control/run into the ground all the US carriers he wants to.
"What makes US airlines so special that a foreign airline cannot have a controlling interest?"
The size of the US aviation market is what makes the difference - it's by far the single largest domestic aviation market, and no country that refuses to allow Open Skies should have direct access to it, period.
Live life to the fullest.