11th Apr 2002, 14:21
What chance does the UA/BMI anti trust approval for their shared flights etc. have for being approved by the UK authorities. The US has put a 6 months deadline for an openskies to be negotiated by the US/UK. I think that is unrealistic at best. However, I do think that there is some chance that there will be a "mini deal" worked out between the US/UK.Perhaps maybe in time to salvage at least part of the 2002 high travel summere season. However, there are times when I dont even think that will happen. Thoughts and comments please.
11th Apr 2002, 16:34
What you have to bear in mind is that the politician who runs the UK government department dealing with transport matters is a certain Mr Stephen Byers. Never heard of him?, lucky you!.
First of all a quick rundown on Mr Byers. He is of course eminently well qualified for his job dealing with public transport as he is unable to drive a car. He is an ex-college lecturer turned politician. With any luck he will soon be an ex-politician as well! His main claim to fame in the UK was to have a personal advisor (Ms Jo Moore) who sent an e-mail to the Transport Dept. on 9/11 suggesting "That this was a good day to bury bad news", and bad news is what Mr Byers department has plenty of! Ms Moore was eventually fired, unfortunately her boss held on to his job because of his close relationship with PM (Saint) Tony Blair. On the other hand maybe Tony can recognise an good potential scapegoat when he sees one.
However, as well as open skies Mr Byers has on his plate:
a. A bankrupt (bankrupted by him) railway system.
b. A railway drivers' union which seems intent on industrial action and inconveniencing as many members of the traveling public as possible.
c. A national road system fast approaching gridlock with problems that can only be solved by very unpopular decisions.
d. An Air Traffic Control system which has major problems with equipment, morale and a lack of investment. The ATC system is part privately owned by a group of UK airlines, but they cannot afford to invest and the only other shareholder is the governmnent who doesn't want to invest.
e. The pressing problem of finding a place to build another runway in SE England.
f. Terminal 5 at LHR. I bring this one in just to mention that the French have built 2 new runways at CDG in less time that we have been talking about T5.
g. The London Tube system, not really Mr Byers responsibility, but he'll have to take the rap for it anyway!
z. I've just remembered! Open Skies!!
So you see Mr Byers is a busy man (busy trying to save his political skin) and the chance of his being willing to devote any significant time to Open Skies is slim. He has many more higher profile disasters to worry about! So. I don't think it likely that we will see much progress on this one, worse luck.
11th Apr 2002, 20:07
The US won't approve anything without an open skies deal on their terms with the UK. Their terms consist of the right for any American carriers to fly into any UK airport at will, with the take off and landing slots provided by the incumbent (British) carriers. It also calls for unrestricted fifth freedom rights from the UK for US carriers. In return the British aviation industry will receive:
1) Less slots at our home airports.
2) Unrestricted access for US carriers to LHR, sparking a destructive trans-atlantic price war which only the heavily state-subsidised US carriers can win.
3) Er..........thats about it.
I wouldn't hold your breath for an agreement.
11th Apr 2002, 20:48
I'd hold my breath :D
Judging by the way President Blair has scant regard for Uk industry I think an agreement will be in the offing very quickly :mad: :( :mad: :(
11th Apr 2002, 22:08
"heavily subsidized US carriers" Oligopoly perhaps, but heavily subsidized?
12th Apr 2002, 01:09
As a UA pilot, I hate code sharing.....
When I was on the 747 in 1991 we had 85 F/O's in JFK......
One year after code sharing began we had 28.......
If we sell a ticket on United it damn well should be flown by UAL pilots, not German Pilots, English Pilots, Thai Pilots ad nauseum.
PS Hand Solo, we are not heavily subsidized in the US. In fact, we are not subsidized at all.
12th Apr 2002, 16:14
Apart from the small matter of that 15 billion dollars. And before you ask yes I know that some if it is loan guarantees and some of it is to compensate for losses incurred by the shutdown after Sept 11th and I'm sure none of it is being used to prop up companies which were in dire financial straits prior to 9/11. Not.