29 June 2008

EU Governments reach provisional deal with European Parliament on "cap and trade" for aviation

A Reuters story dated 27 June 2008 reports that European Union member states have reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament and Commission on rules to govern emissions trading including aviation not only within the EU but on flights between EU member states and third countries. A press release from the European Parliament dated 27 June 2008 outlines details of the proposed scheme. Agreement was reached just before the end of the Slovenian Presidency (see previous post).

The Bush Administration in the United States, amongst others, has been opposed to the proposed measure.

Hong Kong and the Philippines agree to increased air capacity

Xinhua reported on 26 June 2008 that Hong Kong SAR and the Philippines have agreed to increase capacity on air services.

On the same day there was also a press release NEW from the Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications.

Brazil and the United States agree to air capacity and routes expansion

In a statement dated 26 June 2008 the US Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, has announced an expansion of the air services arrangements between Brazil and the United States of America. Allowable airline capacity is increased by just under 50%, five new destinations are made available in Brazil for US airlines and some third-country code sharing is permitted. Some further detail is given in a media note issued on 27 June 2008 by the US State Department.

Brazil is one of an increasingly small number of major markets that the USA has not been able to gain agreement to "open skies" arrangements. Other notable ones are Japan and China.

26 June 2008

South Africa making progress implementing 2006 Airlift Strategy

A 23 June 2008 story in Business Day reports on South Africa's good progress in implementing its Airlift Strategy 2006 (see previous post). South Africa is reported to have recently negotiated new air services arrangements with the United Kingdom (a substantial capacity increase), Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Gambia and New Zealand. South Africa is also reported to be in negotiations with Australia, India and the Netherlands.

25 June 2008

India and Japan agree to increase air capacity from 2010

On 20 June 2008 the Government of India announced details of new air services arrangements that it has negotiated with Japan to provide for a doubling of airline capacity in 2010.

An extension of the second runway at Narita airport is planned to provide for increased capacity at Tokyo's main international airport from 2010.

Charter flights between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to increase

On 13 June 2008 Xinhua reported on the signing of an agreement between two NGOs, the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), that will see charter flights between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan substantially increased.

The United Arab Emirates concludes six new sets of air services arrangements

The United Arab Emirates has recently concluded new air services arrangements with Lithuania (announced 4 March 2008), Greece (announced 24 March 2008), Eritrea (announced 21 April 2008), Libya (announced 1 May 2008), Luxembourg (announced 24 May 2008) and Syria (announced 20 June 2008)(see previous post).

20 June 2008

Canada reaches new air transport agreement with Panama

On 19 June 2008 the Canadian Ministers of Transport and Foreign Affairs announced that Canada had reached a new air transport agreement with Panama.

Forthcoming European Union - New Zealand air services negotiations welcomed

On 19 June 2008 media statements welcoming the forthcoming European Union-New Zealand air services negotiations were released by the New Zealand Minister of Transport, Hon. Annette King, and the Canberra-based European Union Ambassador to New Zealand, Bruno Julien (see previous post).

Transcripts of Air New Zealand's select committee appearances

The report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee of the New Zealand Parliament into the Financial Statements of Air New Zealand Limited for 2006/07 is available on the web as a .pdf file. Air New Zealand appeared before the Committee on 2 April 2008 and the report includes a full transcript of the hearing. I sat in on the public part of the meeting.

The previous appearance by Air New Zealand before the Committee was on 8 December 2004. The related report also includes a full transcript.

19 June 2008

The second death of the US airlines

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. commenting in The Wall Street Journal of 18 June 2008 offers two solutions to the problems facing the US airline industry:
  • Repeal the limit on foreign ownership.
  • Admit ... anti trust laws don't have all the answers.

The world gets bigger

Economist Paul Krugman has a short commentary in the New York Times dated 17 June 2008 noting the likely negative impact of the high price of oil on transport costs and international trade.

16 June 2008

European Commission mandated to negotiate air services agreement with New Zealand

The European Council announced that at its meeting on 13 June 2008, chaired by Slovenia, that it granted a mandate to the Commission to negotiate air services agreement with New Zealand and separately Australia:

"In addition, the Council of Ministers conferred a mandate to open negotiations with Australia and New Zealand on the conclusion of comprehensive agreements on air traffic, aiming at closer cooperation between the Community and these two countries. The mandate conferred today includes, for the first time in history, a stronger commitment by this sector to environmental issues; it also enhances cooperation between the EU and the third countries in the area of greenhouse gas emissions."

10 June 2008

EU-New Zealand air services negotiations?

On the agenda for the Council meeting of European Union transport ministers in Luxembourg on Friday, 13 June 2008 is whether to grant the European Commission mandates to open negotiations with New Zealand and separately Australia on comprehensive air transport agreements.

07 June 2008

Airline capacity changes in the USA

The news of late with respect to the US airline industry has generally been bleak. As the price of jet fuel keeps climbing, airlines are either announcing lay-offs and fleet groundings (for example, American, Continental, Delta and United), or in some cases their financial collapse (for example, Aloha and ATA Airlines).

USA Today has published an interactive graphic showing changes in airline seat capacity since October 2007 projecting forward to October 2008 on a states-by-state and airport-by-airport basis. The newspaper is keeping the graphic updated.

The sources for the data is OAG.

Three key US economic indicators

The Dallas Morning News has published excellent graphics highlighting three key economic indicators for the United States focused on the period from 1960 onwards (.pdf files):

05 June 2008

Kenya and the USA initial "open skies" agreement

On 30 May 2008 the US State Department announced that Kenya and the United States had initialled an "open skies" air transportation agreement, to be phased in over three years.

This will be the 91st such relationship for the United States.

ASEAN moves further towards a single aviation market

As the three-day 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) reached its conclusion in Lapulapu City, Cebu, on 29 May 2008 the Philippine Information Agency announced that ASEAN senior transport officials had agreed to recommend signing the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalization of Air Freight Services and Air Services.

The senior transport officials among the 10-member ASEAN nations will endorse the signing of the ASEAN multilateral agreement to the ASEAN transport leaders who will be meeting during the 14th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting in November 2008 in Manila in time for the implementation of the regional integrated air transport services by December 2008.

The reported aim is to have a single aviation market for ASEAN by 2015.

Canada and the Philippines reach new air transport agreement

On 30 May 2008 at an APEC meeting in Peru the Canadian Government announced that it had reached a new air transport agreement with the Philippines.

India and Iran update air services arrangements

On 6 May 2008 the Government of India announced details of new air services arrangements that it had reached with Iran.

South Africa and Gambia sign new air services agreement

The Daily Observer reported on 12 May 2008 that Gambia and South Africa have signed a new air services agreement.

Review of Air Pacific

On 21 May 2008 the interim Fiji government announced that it was appointing a Cabinet Task Force to carry out a review of Air Pacific. The airline is 51% owned by the Fiji government, with Qantas holding a 46% stake.

Like many airlines, Fiji-based Air Pacific will be suffering from the impact of the rocketing price of oil and will be affected by the Boeing B787 delays (the airline has five on order), but the airline also has had other challenges.

On 26 May 2008 the Fiji government responded to criticism from the Association of South Pacific Airlines relating to the review by the Task Force.

The Task Force held its first meeting on 3 June 2008 and will be calling for public submissions.