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Thread: Open Skies Agreement


  1. #1
    Member uainhnl's Avatar
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    The United States and the European Union are signing an Open Skies agreement April 30 that takes effect in 2008. Basically it allows any US or EU airline to fly any market between the two areas. Anybody have any thoughts on how it will affect the industry or their particular carrier specifically?
    From what I gather United's main goal is to utilize more markets to/from LHR (although slots may be tough to get) as well as more codesharing with both LH and BD. I was hoping more for flights into Spain as well as more markets in France/Italy, but I don't think it will happen.


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    Top Member randyrandy's Avatar
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    While I think I understand the basic concept behind the current regulations, their ultimate result was protectionist and favored only a few carriers that were allowed to reap the rewards. The original intent was probably noble but the end result allowed for a near monopoly.

    I've always favored the open approach. Allow the consumer to decide on who they want to fly and where based on some variable of price, value and convenience. Ultimately it should be the consumer who is allowed to decide by vote of their pocketbook who they fly and where. In other words let the airlines make their case to the consumer and let the consumer decide, not a bunch of bureaucrats.

    There will be winners and losers but the net result should be (or at least we hope) a better product at a better price. Competition is a good thing!

    Randy - Nonrev Correspondent Chicago

  • #3
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    Its a great deal for the American carriers who get far more access to European and UK airports and a rubbish deal for the Europeans who get nothing. Hopefully, as has been threatened, it will be revoked next time round unless the US authorities give European airlines access to US domestic and 5th freedom markets.

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    Top Member randyrandy's Avatar
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    Paul, I'm not sure I agree with you. Remember that EU Transportation Ministers unanimously endorsed the agreement.

    In part, it allows any EU airline to fly from any city in the 27 nations making up the EU to any city in the US. I'm not sure how you make that out to be "nothing".

    Aer Lingus, for one, called it a momentous, long awaited for day.

    Remember, competition is a good thing, a monopoly is not. One benefits the many, the other benefits the few.

    Randy - Nonrev Correspondent Chicago

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    Member uainhnl's Avatar
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    I don't see how he thinks EU airlines should have access to the US domestic market. We don't get access to fly between EU nations. Seems equal to me.

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    The EU is not one country, it is a large group of UN seat holding, different language speaking, different cultured, countries that formed a trade block. It is not the United States.

    When South West and United can do domestic flights inside France or the UK, that would be the equal of the much sought after "cabatoge" by the EU. Now that would still not be a good deal for the US but art least we would be comparing apples to apples

  • #7
    Member uainhnl's Avatar
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    But it still proves the point that this guy is stupid thinking that EU airlines should be able to fly domestically in the US. We don't get anything approaching that from any of the EU countries. And yes, we are one country while the EU is many, but some similarities exist. In a way the states are semi-autonomous (yes, not nearly as much as the EU nations are). But the US is tied together by common currency, which unites much of the economy, while still having regional variances in products and productivity, just like the EU nations are tied economically by the Euro. Within the US, you can cross state borders by car without problem, which is quite similar to travelling within the EU.

    All that aside, if EU airlines should be allowed to fly within the US, US airlines should then be allowed to fly within EU nations, say from points within France to other points within France, or points within Italy to other points within Italy, and so on, and so forth. That is, as you say, comparing apples to apples.

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    Top Member randyrandy's Avatar
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    Yes, but be nice!

    Randy - Nonrev Correspondent Chicago

  • #9
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    Randy,
    I won't lower myself to the level of a slanging match as US and EU airlines will never agree however would point out, in reference to the above, that if it was a level playing field then EU airlines would be able to pick passengers up in the US and carry them on the a third country i.e. say LON-LAX-NRT but the US restricts this however US airlines have for many years been able to pick up pax in one EU country and carry them to another, I remember the late great PanAm doing it, e.g JFK-LON-FRA.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">All that aside, if EU airlines should be allowed to fly within the US, US airlines should then be allowed to fly within EU nations, say from points within France to other points within France, or points within Italy to other points within Italy, and so on, and so forth. That is, as you say, comparing apples to apples. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    US domestic flying is completely different than domestic flying within the individual european nations. For the most part, US domestic operations that the European flagged carriers would be considering would be transcontinental.

    Food for thought:
    LAX-JFK 2475 miles
    LIS-SVO 2424 miles
    JFK-ORD 740 miles
    MAD-CDG 660 miles


    The EU aircraft flying across the atlantic are far better suited for US transcon flights than US aircraft would be for internal EU flights.

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