As you're all aware, the Open Skies process has been delayed, due to difficulties over foreign ownership of US carriers, the US DOT having decided not to issue a rule on this, which would have been the basis of an EU Commission decision.
Here's an archived thread from early last month:
When we left off, on December 5th, the EU Transport ministers were due to have met to discuss the issue, receiving information from the Commission on the current position.
So, where now?
With Chancellor Merkel going to the US this week (today) to discuss an EU/US free trade area, I wonder if the problems re Open Skies will figure in these talks; there's certainly a connection.
I understand that the EU Transport ministers and airlines are to meet in Brussels in the near future, to plan a way forward. Ireland's transport minister, Martin Cullen, has said that he is willing to wait to the end of January (when the EU and US are to have their next round of talks on this issue), but not much longer. The Irish plan is to enter into a "side deal" with the US, as the current position severely restricts growth options. Ireland has one of the most restrictive bilaterals with the US, which limits EI to only four US cities and of course, our SNN stopover policy.
I don't know when exactly this next meeting in Brussels (involving EU ministers and airlines) is due to take place. I think most people would be surprised to see Open Skies in place for this Summer and there is also the possibility that those who want to scupper it can do so.
So, where to from here?