10 March 2007

US-European Commission air transport negotiations reach a conclusion

Friday, 2 March 2007 saw negotiators reach a deal in Brussels that will be put to the European Council of Transport Ministers on 22 March 2007. The European Commission has released a summary and a nine-page Information Note, while the US State Department has produced an article and the US Secretary of Transportation has released a short statement. The consensus seems to be that the deal will require the unanimous backing of all EU member states to go ahead - in effect, the UK can veto it.

At a very well-timed Chatham House conference in London on international aviation this week key players in this long-running drama started to outline their current positions:

There has also been reaction from two other UK airlines with a direct interest, Virgin Atlantic and bmi. Reporting includes that in the Times NEW, Financial Times, BBC, The Independent, the International Herald Tribune and The Economist.

One cannot but help think that early US Department of Transportation approval of the Virgin America reapplication could help make the deal more acceptable in Whitehall.

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