Clearly when you say "But to say, as you do that all was hunky-dory was stretching the truth a little bit" you were, to coin a phrase, "stretching the truth a little bit".
Note for example the word "restrictive" in
|Quoting VV701 (Reply 104):|
the restrictive bilateral air services agreement of 1977
Please be assured that when I say something is "restrictive" I am not saying something is "hunky-dory". Accusing me of saying "hunky-dory" when I said no such thing and when I actually used the word "restrictive" is about as far away from the truth as you can get.
Nevertheless thanks for sharing your source. It confirms much of what I said once you accept the fact that the Thatcher government was elected in May 1979. By that time the restrictive - repeat RESTRICTIVE - Bermuda 2 Agreement had been in force for nearly 14 months. Further the new (Thatcher) )government's aviation policy including their intention to privatise BA
was not announced until July 1979. What your source describes as "the United Kingdom's Traffic Distribution Rules" by which it means the bilateral air services agreement between the UK and the USA known as "Bermuda 2" was signed by the British Callaghan government and the American Carter Administration in 1977. See paragraph 9 here:
Where your source is mistaken is in saying that what it calls "the United Kingdom's Traffic Distribution Rules" ended in 1991. They did not. They ended on 30 March 2008 when the EU-US Open Skies Agreement superseded the Bermuda 2 Agreement.
What happened in 1991 I have previously explained and is detailed in paragraph 12 of the above link that reads:
"12. The most significant amendment of Bermuda II
was prompted by the demise of Pan Am and TWA in 1991. The renegotiation of Bermuda II
that followed led to an agreement which permitted American Airlines and United Airlines to operate instead from Heathrow. In return a second British carrier, Virgin Atlantic, was permitted to operate trans-Atlantic routes from Heathrow alongside British Airways."
Other airlines were not permitted to operate between LHR
and the USA until the EU-US Open Skies agreement came into force. So on 30 March 2008 CO
and US all moved the majority of their USA-LON flights from LGW
. The fact that they were able to obtain slots for these flights is also indicative that, if the will exists, obtaining LHR
slots is not so difficult as some like to claim. This is confirmed by the way that BA
grew its LHR
slot holding from 3,602 weekly slots at the start of the Summer 2003 Season to 4,198 at the start of the Summer 2012 Season (which was before they merged BD
into their operation on 20 April 2012). With VS
operating a total of only 310 slots this growth of 596 slots is the equivalent of adding almost two whole VS
operations to BA
's slot portfolio. You can check out all of these numbers in the appropriate reports here (although the 2003 data will be found in the 2004 report):
So I will summarise the position:
The restrictive Bermuda 2 agreement was signed in 1977 and came into force in 1978.
This agreement was nothing to do with the Thatcher government elected in May 1979 or their civil aviation policy announced in July 1977 except that it was the bilateral air services agreement between the UK and the USA that had only come into force less than 14 months before Thatcher was elected. So it cannot be accurately described as having been designed to protect BA
from competition in te pre- and post-privatisation periods.
In 1981 the Thatcher government over-ruled the UK CAA and granted BD
rights to operate between LHR
and both EDI
, the first time any British airline had been allowed to compete directly against either BA
or its predecessors, BEA and BOAC out of LHR
In 1984 te newly formed VS
was granted rights by the Thatcher government to indirectly compete against BA
between LON and NYC. This was the first time any British airline had been granted the right to fly between LON and an international destination
In 1987 BA
In 1991 VS
was added to the three airlines allowed to operate between LHR
and the USA.
In 1992 te EU adopted responsibility for European Civil Aviation Policy and te process of European deregulation commenced.
In 2008 te EU-USA Open Skies agreement superseded the restrictive Bermuda 2 agreement and CO
and US were allowed to move their flights from LGW
and compete directly with AA
It is therefore my argument thart far from restricting competition with BA
in front of privatisation as you claimed it was the Thatcher government that first introduced both direct sort-haul and indirect long-haul competition aganist BA
(both prior to privatisation) and that the successor Major government first introduced direct long-aul competition against BA
soon after privatisation.