View Full Version : UK-US open skies talks to start in Autumn

26th Jun 2003, 22:50
From Airwise.com

Autumn Date For EU-US Aviation Talks

Jun 26, 2003

Talks on a ground-breaking "open skies" agreement between the United States and the European Union are to start in early Autumn.

If a comprehensive aviation deal can be reached it will embrace all member countries of the EU and replace the present individual agreements with European states.

The announcement came from the White House as US and EU leaders met in Washington for wide-ranging talks.

Attempts to liberalize transatlantic aviation services have a history of failure with both sides refusing to make concessions. Among several contentious issues is the limited access granted to US carriers at London's Heathrow Airport and America's block on foreign ownership of its airlines.

The opportunity to allow Europe to speak with a single voice on "open skies" came after a European Court decision last year paved the way for talks. Earlier this month the executive arm of the EU, the European Commission, was given the go-ahead by transport ministers from the 15 member states to start negotiations.

Although difficulties remain in hammering out a deal which is acceptable to both sides, it is thought the new talks may achieve progress on some of the issues and open the way to a full treaty.

A statement from the White House said: "A comprehensive US-EU aviation agreement would further liberalize international aviation markets between the United States and the countries of the European Union, providing airlines, consumers, shippers, and national economies the enormous benefits of a market-based approach to international civil aviation.

"We look forward to extending the benefits of liberalization to the transatlantic market and building on the foundation established by the open skies agreements we have already concluded with eleven European Union Member States.

"Such an agreement would minimize government intervention and facilitate meaningful airline competition across a broader array of markets.

"The agreement would also enhance economic opportunities, including expanded scope for enriching cooperative marketing arrangements, while ensuring implementation of the highest standards of international aviation safety and security."

This will certianly re-ignite the bmi / VS / BA / LH / stories..


27th Jun 2003, 00:17
The whole Heathrow issue will be among the most complicated to be discussed, along with cabotage and some of the US demands of Europe. My hope - and something a US official alluded to - was that the more straightforward issues could be dealt with relatively quickly, leaving issues such as LHR to the end.

Clearly, as far as bmi/Virgin is concerned, it makes very little sense for bmi to cut across Virgin, so this is an issue which will probably have to be revisited by both carriers.

Personally, my main hope is that the SNN stopover is buried conclusively as soon as possible, so that EI can get its pretty ambitious growth plans under way. That should be one of the issues the EU/US can sort out relatively quickly.

huw stunn
27th Jun 2003, 23:40
What has this got to do with EU-US open skies talks ?

I thought that the SNN stopover is an internal Eire issue and not imposed by anyone else.

Also I am not sure that the US will accept that being given rights to fly and pick up/drop off traffic anywhere within EU would be an acceptable deal for allowing EU airlines cabotage rights in the US.
If it isn't - then why have EU-US talks in the first place ?

28th Jun 2003, 16:09
Quite a bit actually, since Ireland and UK were among the last countries to hand power over to the EU to conduct bilateral negotiations.

You're correct to point out that it is an restriction the Irish government imposes on itself, but handing negotiating power over to Brussels effectively confers a death sentence on this regulation. Aer Lingus is anxious to open new US routes, as early as this Winter, without the burden of the DUB/SNN 50/50 and the EU will effectively negotiate the stopover out of existence.

Sooner or later . . .