27 December 2009

UK Committee on Climate Change releases Aviation Report

On 8 December 2009 the UK Committee on Climate Change released a large Aviation Report. The report sets out the Committee’s assessment of options for reducing UK aviation emissions up to 2050.

Continental Airlines and Air New Zealand apply for anti-trust immunity

Continental Airlines (CO) and Air New Zealand (NZ) have applied to the US Department of Transportation for anti-trust immunity (the docket reference is DOT-OST-2009-0340). The application was posted on the official Regulations.gov web site on 14 December 2009.

Continental Airlines joined the Star Alliance on 27 October 2009.


I was recently involved in a discussion about the shortest distances between various airports in East Asia and South America. Being on opposite sides of the world, many airport pairs in the two continents cannot be served non stop with existing airliners.

The Boeing B777-200LR (17,395 km range) and Airbus A340-500 (16,700 km range) come close but the economics of ultra long-haul, point-to-point routes means that they struggle to be profitable. Therefore the question arises as to what intermediate points make sense to airlines and travellers. For example, to what extent does Auckland (AKL) make sense as an intermediate point for travel between the two continents?

The Great Circle Mapper web site is a great help in supporting such discussions (see previous post) but also useful is the Antipodes Map web site which identifies the exact opposite side of the world to any point on the globe. The Wikipedia entry for Antipodes has a couple of maps that illustrate this.

The world is not exactly spherical. The distance around the Earth at the equator is 40,075 km. The distance around the Earth through the poles is 40,008 km. Therefore the theoretical maximum great circle distance between any two airports is 20,038 km.

Of course, considerations such as times from alternative airports in the event of an engine failure, prevailing winds, connecting times and visa requirements will also influence airlines and travelers decisions.

17 December 2009

Australian Government releases National Aviation Policy Statement

On 16 November 2009 the Australian Government released its National Aviation Policy Statement white paper entitled "Flight Path to the Future" (see previous post). The document is large but individual chapters can be downloaded separately. Australian Transport Minister Albanese also delivered a related speech and issued a media release.

The announcement includes a proposal to relax the sub limits on foreign investment that apply under the Qantas Sale Act (see previous post) but retain the 49% overall limit.

A decision on the location of a second major airport for Sydney is deferred yet again. Ben Sandilands in his Plane Talking weblog is blunt in his comments heading his 16 December 2009 posting Aviation White Paper cripples Sydney.

Of potential direct relevance to New Zealand is an indication that Australia is prepared to grant to third countries fifth freedom access to the Tasman if their airlines serve smaller Australian cities.

Media coverage of the announcement includes that in the:

Airline responses have been released by Qantas (also a separate statement with respect to the Qantas Sale Act) and Virgin Blue.

14 December 2009

United States reaches "open skies" arrangements with Japan

On 11 December 2009 the US Department of Transportation announced that the United States and Japan had initialed historic "open skies" arrangements after five rounds of negotiations (see previous post).

The text of the new arrangements (a Record of Discussions, Memorandum of Understanding and new route Annex) has been made available on the US Department of State web site.

10 December 2009

New air services arrangements between Taiwan and the UK

On 12 November 2009 a press release from Taipei announced that flights by United Kingdom and Taiwanese airlines can increase from 6 to 10 per week.

This follows a large increase in travel from Taiwan to the UK after the UK lifted a visa requirement for visitors from Taiwan.

Note that the new Agreement on the Operation of Air Services is between the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom and the British Trade and Cultural Office, Taipei.

New Zealand's air services arrangements with Chinese Taipei (the APEC name for the economy) are between the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office, Taipei and the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei. Currently no airlines are operating under these arrangements but New Zealand has also recently removed visa requirements for holiday visitors from Taiwan.

07 December 2009

Australian Transport Minister meeting EC Transport Commissioner

On 30 November 2009 the Australian Minister of Transport Hon Anthony Albanese made a media release advising that he was to be meeting with the EC Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajani in Rome to discuss among other issues progressing the Australia-European Union air services negotiations.

Future of Aviation report released by UK House of Commons Transport Committee

On 2 December 2009 the UK House of Commons ordered its Transport Committee report The future of aviation to be printed (see previous post).

One of the more interesting findings was:

127. Taxation is an aspect of aviation that is hotly disputed. The industry argues that it contributes heavily to the Treasury whilst critics say it should pay more. Yet it ought be relatively straightforward to provide a factual account. We asked for this, but did not receive one. It would be helpful if the Government clarified this issue with a statement of the revenues raised, the extent of any tax exemptions and how these compare to the social and environmental costs of aviation. As part of this clarification, the Government needs to explain the basis for its earlier statement that an additional £10 billion might be raised if VAT and fuel duty were applied to aviation."


"136. Although APD has been restructured to reflect the distance flown, and therefore—broadly speaking—CO2 emissions, the Government is clear that APD is not an environmental charge:

"[…] the Government emphasises that whilst its domestic aviation tax regime is structured so as to send environmental signals, neither APD nor AVGAS should be seen as an environmental charge designed solely to capture the environmental cost of aviation."

06 December 2009

Australian Aviation White Paper due out this month

On 30 November 2009 the ABC reported that the Australian Government is expected to release its National Aviation Policy Statement on 16 December 2009 (see previous post).

A key issue will be what comment is made about the location for a second major airport for Sydney. Given the rampant NIMBYism, I am not expecting a definitive long-term answer (NIMBY = not in my back yard).

The end of year release seems to have stirred the Singapore Airlines (SQ) public relations machine into further action with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reporting on 2 November 2009 the airline's wish to be granted fifth freedom rights between Australia and the USA. One wonders if the situation will change should the US Department of Transportation grant anti-trust immunity for the V Australia/Delta tie up (see previous post).

Incidentally the SMH story contains a basic error in the second paragraph when it says "Because Australia and the US have an open-skies treaty, Singapore Airline's access hinges on the go-ahead only from the Rudd Government." The Australia-US treaty is irrelevant to a Singapore Airlines fifth freedom service beyond Australia to the USA. What the article should have said was "Because Singapore and the US are party to an open-skies treaty, ..."

Japan continues to negotiate new air services arrangements with the USA

On 5 November 2009 the Japan Times carried a report from Bloomberg noting that a further round of air transportation negotiations will be held over three days in Washington DC this week.

On 4 November 2009 Aviation Week, quoting US State Department negotiator John Byerly, reported that it is possible that these talks may result in an "open skies" like agreement being initialled (see previous post).

The US is known to use the granting of anti-trust immunity as bait, making an "open skies" agreement a precondition for doing so.

Currently both Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam) and American Airlines (oneworld) are reported to be bidding to provide a much needed equity injection into Japan Airlines which is in financial difficulties after massive recent financial losses (see previous post). Seeking Alpha has a 13 November 2009 post providing some background.

In addition, new runway slots are becoming available at Narita and Haneda airports in the Tokyo area (see previous post). The US has previously tried to tie slot availability into its air services arrangements with Japan, while for its part Japan has considered that the US airlines already hold a disproportionate share of Tokyo airport slots.

If such an agreement is reached it would be a major step towards achieving APEC's 2010 Bogor Declaration goals with respect to trade in air transport services.

02 December 2009

Air New Zealand replacing B737-300 with A320

On 3 November 2009 Air New Zealand announced that it had selected Airbus A320 aircraft to replace its 15 domestic Boeing B737-300 aircraft (see also Airbus announcement). The 14 new aircraft will be delivered between January 2011 and 2016.

Airbus announced on 15 November 2009 that Air New Zealand is to be the launch customer for large "sharklet" winglets on the A320.

30 November 2009

ACCC looks to clear Delta-V Australia tie up

On 2 November 2009 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it had issued a draft determination in favour of approving a joint venture between V Australia and Delta Air Lines (see previous post).

New PIA route to Dubai blocked?

On 28 November 2009 the Daily Times from Pakistan reported that approval of a proposed new Pakistan International Airlines service from Sialkot in Pakistan to Dubai was being delayed by the Dubai civil aviation authorities.

Turbulent times for civil aviation administration in the Solomon Islands

On 5 November 2009 the Solomon Star carried a rather extraordinary set of revelations about alleged disharmony and possibly worse in civil aviation administration in the Solomon Islands:
On 6 November 2009 the Solomon Star carried an editorial and reported on further developments and on 7 November 2009 reported that the Prime Minister had ordered an inquiry. On 18 November 2009 the Solomon Star reported that the inquiry was due to start that day and take about two weeks.

By way of background, on 7 August 2009 the Solomon Star reported the appointment of Ben Kere as Acting Director.

Some years ago I had a fascinating discussion of the challenges of civil aviation administration with a previous Director of Civil Aviation from the Solomons. It is not easy.

It can be interesting to read the results of audits done as part of ICAO's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme for countries such as the Solomon Islands (2006 audit 276 page .pdf). Such audit results are available on the Flight Safety Information Exchange web site (optimised for MS Internet Explorer).

"The Nature of Technology" by W. Brian Arthur

I recently finished reading economist W. Brian Arthur's very interesting new book, The Nature of Technology - What It Is and How It Evolves. Formerly at Stanford, Brian Arthur is now associated with the Sante Fe Institute and PARC. He is noted for his work on complexity theory and increasing returns to scale.

In the book Arthur uses a wide definition of "technology" and offers an excellent plain language explanation of its relationship with science and the economy ("The economy is an expression of its technologies."), and the process of innovation that has wide application. His writing benefits from the fact that, as well as being an economist, he trained as an electrical engineer. A particular attraction for me was his use of examples of aeronautical technology.

A review of the book appeared in the New York Times on 19 October 2009 and the American Scientist carried an interview by Greg Ross with Arthur about the ideas.

The book deserves a wider readership.

Australian IASC splits capacity in decision on Fiji routes

On 6 November 2009 the Australian International Air Services Commission finalised its decisions allocating capacity for new services by V Australia and Qantas-owned Jetstar to Fiji, allocating 907 seats of capacity to V Australia and 852 seats of capacity to Qantas.

Latest ACI statistics point to few bright spots for international air passenger numbers

The Airports Council International data released on 17 November 2009 for international passenger movements at the world's top airports make relatively grim reading. For the 12 months ended August 2009 only three of the top 30 international airports, Dubai (DXB), Istanbul (IST) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL), reported positive growth.

All three airports are hubs for airlines that have been enjoying a relatively successful year. It remains to be seen what impact Dubai's current financial difficulties will have on traffic at the airport.

Germany takes action against Emirates Airline tariffs

On 20 November 2009 Deutsche Welle reported that the German government was taking action against sixth freedom carrier Emirates Airline to stop it undercutting Lufthansa in the Germany-South Africa and Germany-Singapore markets. On 19 November 2009 Reuters report gives further coverage, suggesting that the action was not just directed at Emirates.

A report of reaction in The National dated 26 November 2009 refers to "1970s protectionism".

I was aware of a European law prohibiting fifth freedom price leading by non-EU airlines but had thought that this was limited to flights within the EU. I do not have access to the tariffs article of the Germany-UAE air services agreement which will probably be relevant. I think the current relevant European law is available here but would welcome comments on this.

Enforcing tariff regulation is very hard to do given the thousands of international air tariffs in existence.

UN treaties database online

As well as ICAO, the United Nations Treaty Collection can be a useful source for information about international air services arrangements that have treaty status. The web site has recently be revamped.

However, as with the ICAO treaty collection (DAGMAR), the UN collection is by no means comprehensive with many bilateral air services agreements yet to be filed. It is relatively common for air services agreements to be in operational effect before all constitutional processes have been completed by the parties.

Fifth round of air transport negotiations between the EU and the USA

A further three-day round of air services negotiations held on 9-11 November 2009 in Brussels, the fifth in the second stage of the EU-USA "open skies" arrangements (see previous post), resulted in a joint statement dated 11 November 2009. The next round is to start in Washington DC in the week of 11 January 2010.

UAE negotiates air services agreement with Somalia

On 24 November 2009 Air Transport News carried a release from the United Arab Emirates GCAA that the UAE had negotiated an "open" air services agreement with Somalia. The negotiations were held in Dubai.

Emirates Airline calls on the New Zealand Prime Minister

On 13 November 2009 the NZ Herald reported that Andrew Parker from Emirates Airline had met with the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and senior government officials in Wellington. The Prime Minister also holds the Tourism portfolio.

Note that the 850,000 passenger statistic quoted would seem to have been calculated on a full uplift discharge basis rather than using the true origin destination method. Thus sixth freedom transit passengers travelling between New Zealand and Europe through Dubai would seem to be included in this total.

The Air New Zealand criticism referred to was made by its Chief Executive Rob Fyfe in the speech in Hong Kong in which he did not refer to Emirates by name (see previous post).

Emirates Airline is owned by Dubai holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai.

29 November 2009

Airline RPK to Country GDP ratios

Recently I spent a wet weekend looking for a means to identify the countries where their airline industry plays a disproportionate role in the national economy. As a general rule I would expect that these are the countries with airlines that rely to a greater extent on sixth freedom (transit) traffic.

I took the overall size of each economy as measured in US dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) from the World Factbook published by the CIA on 20 March 2008.

I then took the 100 top airlines in the world as measured by revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) from the August 2008 edition of Airline Business and allocated these airlines to their home countries.

What I came up with were the following RPK:GDP ratios that were greater than 0.1 (number of airlines in brackets if more than one):

0.67 United Arab Emirates (2)
0.57 Bahrain
0.56 Qatar
0.37 Singapore
0.33 Ireland (2)
0.26 Hong Kong
0.24 New Zealand
0.16 Australia (3)
0.13 Malaysia (2)
0.13 United Kingdom (9)
0.12 Sri Lanka
0.11 Finland
0.11 Thailand

That countries in the Gulf region, led by the UAE, came top was no great surprise given recent developments. What I had not expected was that the ratio for New Zealand would be so high.

09 November 2009

Australian ANZA airlines to pay New Zealand domestic safety levy

On 3 November 2009 the New Zealand Minister of Transport, Steven Joyce, announced that Australian airlines exercising ANZA privileges (they do not have to hold a separate New Zealand safety certificate and the direct oversight of their airline operations is carried out by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)) would have to make a contribution to the costs of running the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) through a domestic levy of $1.66 per passenger sector when providing cabotage services. The CAA released a statement on 4 November 2009. This will mainly affect Jetstar (see previous post).

In similar circumstances when operating within Australia, New Zealand airlines, such as Airwork and Vincent Aviation, exercising ANZA privileges are already paying a fuel excise.

Earlier the CAA had issued a consultation paper and released a summary of submissions.

This follows the introduction of an Arrangement providing for mutual recognition of safety certification between Australia and New Zealand. This was originally envisaged when the Single Aviation Market was negotiated in 1996.

The ANZA mutual recognition provisions are in Part 1A of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 while the relevant levy-making provisions are in Part 4. The relevant Order in Council (the amended version is not yet available on the web) is the Civil Aviation (Safety) Levies Order 2002.

Media coverage included stories by the Australian correspondent for The Independent and Business Day, Denise McNabb on 23 October 2009 and 2 November 2009, and a story in the NZ Herald on 5 November 2009 which reported that Qantas was "furious".

01 November 2009

The Daily Telegraph launches a campaign against the UK APD increases

With the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) rising on 1 November 2009 the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph has today launched a campaign against the increases giving 10 reasons why it considers that the Duty "must be abolished" (see previous post).

A BBC 1 November 2009 report quotes a spokesman for HM Treasury saying: "The government maintains that air travel should pay its fair share in tax. APD is an important contributor to the public finances, while helping the government achieve its environmental goals."

The Observer has a 1 November 2009 report that quotes a survey by YouGov, commissioned by Easyjet, that found that 80% of people believe the system should be reformed. As always with such surveys, it is worth looking at exactly what questions were asked.

Invercargill International Airport?

On 31 October 2009 the Otago Daily Times reported that Invercargill Airport (IVC), located in the Southland, New Zealand, is looking at providing international facilities for Pacific Wings according to industry sources. The Australian airline would wet lease aircraft for any trans-Tasman services from Nauruan carrier Our Airline.

With the restart of international air services into Hamilton (HLZ) by Pacific Blue on 1 September 2009, currently New Zealand has six international airports. Air New Zealand plans to start the first trans-Tasman scheduled services into Rotorua (ROT) on 12 December 2009.

18 October 2009

Malaysia to gain rights from France for air services to Orly

On 8 October 2009 the New Straits Times reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, on a four-day visit to Paris, had raised with Prime Minister Fillon of France granting access rights to Paris for Air Asia X.

In doing so Najib made a link with the large order of Airbus aircraft made by Air Asia.

President Sarkozy personally gave a positive reply, agreeing that access to Paris Orly airport would be granted. Officials are to work out the details.

Government of Japan working on financial problems at Japan Airlines

On 1 October 2009 the Asahi Shimbun reported that the new Japanese Minister of Transport Seiji Maehara as saying that the government will not allow Japan Airlines, currently in serious financial difficulty, to fail.

Japan and Poland agree to capacity increase for airlines

On 9 October 2009 the Japan Times carried a report that Japan has agreed a capacity increase from two to 10 flights per week and access for Polish airlines to Narita, Tokyo from March 2010 when additional slots become available.

New Government in Japan proposes opening Haneda to more international air services

On 13 October 2009 and 16 October 2009 the Japan Times reported on a proposal by the new Minister of Transport Seiji Maehara that Haneda Airport in Tokyo be turned into a 24-hour hub airport with both domestic and international air services. The New Zealand experience has been that a significant number of visitors from Southern Japan do travel via Incheon in Korea bearing out a comment made in the second article.

To date almost all long-haul international air services to Tokyo have operated to Narita Airport. On 22 October 2009 Narita will open an extension of Runway B to 2,500m. More slots will become available in March next year as a kink in the taxiway is straightened following a small land acquisition.

Papua New Guinea signs first air services agreement with Malaysia

On 24 July 2009 Business Times from Malaysia reported that Papua New Guinea and Malaysia had signed an Air Services Agreement and related Memorandum of Understanding. There are no frequency limits.

Japan concludes new air services arrangements with Papua New Guinea

On 24 August 2009 Flight Global reported that Japan and Papua New Guinea had negotiated new air services arrangements. This included doubling capacity for airlines from Papua New Guinea to Narita (Tokyo) from one to two per week. The deal comes at a time when the extension of the second runway at Narita is about to be opened.

The article also notes that the Papua New Guinea government is subsidising the weekly Air Niugini flight to Tokyo.

11 October 2009

Canada reaches "Blue Sky" agreement with South Korea

On 15 July 2009 the Canadian Government announced that it had negotiated a "Blue Sky" air transport agreement with the Republic of Korea.

Fiji negotiates air services arrangements with Turkey

On 5 October 2009 the Fiji Government announced that Fiji has negotiated an air services agreement with Turkey at the recent ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference (see previous post). The Fiji Daily Post reported on this on 7 October 2009.

Fiji also held negotiations with the United Arab Emirates and informal talks with India, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The release refers to Fiji having a "Look North Policy".

Qantas looking to sell Air Pacific stake to Fiji Government

A 7 October 2009 article in the Australian reports that the Fiji Government has set up a committee to consider purchasing the 46% of Air Pacific owned by Qantas.

Qantas subsidiary Jetstar is seeking some of the available Australian capacity under the Australia-Fiji air services arrangements that is also being sought by the Virgin Blue group's V Australia. A allocation decision on this is to be made by the Australian International Air Services Commission (IASC).

"Open skies" for Japan with the USA?

A 16 September 2009 story from Kyodo reports that Japan and the United States intend to accelerate their efforts to achieve an "open skies" agreement this year. the next round of negotiations is to be held in Tokyo from 26 October.

An incentive for Japan noted by Aviation Law Prof Blog would seem to be a wish to have anti-trust immunity granted for commercial tie ups between, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and their respective US alliance partners. One has to wonder whether the leverage this provides is being undermined by the recent proposal from Representative James Oberstar (see previous post) and comments from the US Department of Justice.

There has also been reporting on either American Airlines or Delta providing an equity injection into financially troubled Japan Airlines.

Fourth round of EU-USA air services negotiations

A further three-day round of air services negotiations, the fourth in the second stage of the EU-USA "open skies" arrangements, commenced on 7 October 2009 in Washington DC (see previous post). Agreement was reached to include Norway and Iceland in the arrangements.

The next round is to start in Brussels on 9 November 2009.

Reports on the negotiations appeared in the Wall Street Journal (on 7 October 2009), Flight Global (on 9 October 2009), and from Dow Jones (on 9 October 2009).

The UAE signs "open skies" agreements with the Dominican Republic and Zambia

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that it has signed "open skies" agreements with Zambia (2 October 2009) and the Dominican Republic (5 October 2009).

On 29 September 2009 it was reported by AMEinfo.com that, during the second ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference held in Istanbul held 28 September to 2 October 2009, the UAE was planning to hold bilateral negotiations with "Turkey, Korea, Norway, France, Fiji, Bangladesh, India, Zambia, Ethiopia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Dominique Republic." The article noted that of a total of 126 air services agreements signed by the UAE 41 were "open sky".

Outcome of ICAO High Level Meeting announced

In a 9 October 2009 news release from Montreal, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced the outcome of its High Level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change (see previous post). The meeting resulted in a Declaration, the final draft of which is available for download from the ICAO website.

The references to "93% of commercial air traffic" and "the nations of the world that represent the vast majority of international civil aviation traffic have spoken" in the news release seemed to imply that the usual ICAO consensus between member states was not reached but apparently this was not the case. It seems that some member states, however, were carrying over into their positions at ICAO the positions they currently hold in the wider climate change negotiations.

On 8 October 2009 the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Giovanni Bisignani, made some "very blunt" remarks to the meeting.

On 10 October 2009 the IATA Director General made some further remarks on the outcome of the ICAO meeting.

The various key international aviation industry organisations (IATA, ACI, CANSO and ICCAIA) had presented a united position to the meeting in a working paper. I am not aware of any such significant statements from other emissions-generating industry sectors.

Chile puts its air services arrangements on the web

For those who speak Spanish (for those who don't there are some documents that have translations into other languages), the Chilean Junta De Aeronautica Civil has now made scans of Chile's bilateral air services arrangements available online for download. Both the treaty texts and the related understandings seem to be available. Google Translate can also assist with rough translations.

08 October 2009

Rob Fyfe at Greener Skies 2009

On 6 October 2009 Air New Zealand Chief Executive Rob Fyfe delivered a forthright speech that he titled "Action speaks louder than words" at the Greener Skies 2009 conference in Hong Kong in which he makes critical comments about the lack of progress in international climate change negotiations.

Media coverage of the speech appeared in the New Zealand Herald on 7 October 2009.

The unnamed airline annual report that Fyfe quotes from is that of Emirates covering 2006-2007 (see previous post).

The conference is being covered by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) blog Plane Talking.

04 October 2009

ICAO High-level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change to convene 7-9 October 2009

Papers, including 26 working papers and four information papers, for the ICAO High-level Meeting on International Aviation and Climate Change to be held in Montreal are now available on the ICAO web site.

The meeting has been preceded by work by GIACC (see previous post) and comes ahead of the key UNFCCC COP15 meeting to be held in Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009.

US Congress cap and trade bills cover international aviation?

As far as I can tell from a word search, the current versions of the Waxman-Markey (passed by the US House of Representatives) and Kerry-Boxer (being introduced to the US Senate) bills to introduce a cap and trade system, whether by accident or design, would involve a unilateral extension of coverage to include international air and sea transport emissions.

Commenting on this IATA Director General Bisignani, in a speech to the International Aviation Club in Washington DC on 15 September 2009, said:

"The challenge is to align governments on economic measures through ICAO. The way that we are heading now, a flight from New York to London could be triple taxed considering the 2012 inclusion of aviation in the European ETS; the UK Air Passenger Duty which will collect GBP 2.7 billion by 2011; and US cap-and-trade proposals in the Waxman-Markey Bill. This is nonsense. The EU ETS is unilateral, extra-territorial and illegal. The US must be among the countries fighting it, shouting even louder."

UK Committee on Climate Change provides advice on aviation emissions

On 9 September 2009 the UK Committee on Climate Change provided advice to the UK Government on a framework for reducing global aviation emissions and made a related press release calling for a cap.

European Union proposals on international bunker fuels for climate change negotiations

On 27 September 2009 Reuters carried a story on European Union proposals on how to treat emissions caused by international bunker fuels in the context of the climate change negotiations.

The phrase "international bunker fuels" covers both the international maritime and aviation. Related emissions are not covered by the Kyoto Protocol, in part because no consensus had been reach on how they would be allocated to individual countries.

News reports on European Commission air services negotiations with New Zealand

On 24 August 2009 the New Zealand Herald carried an article by Dr David Stone, who had met with Olivier Onedi from the European Commission at a conference in Sydney, about the ongoing air services negotiations between the Commission and New Zealand.

On 28 September 2009 the New Zealand Herald carried an article by Grant Bradley about these negotiations (see previous post). The article touches on the environment dimension of the negotiations.

23 September 2009

Fiji and Papua New Guinea conclude new air services arrangements

Fijilive and The National have reported that on 9 September 2009 Fiji and Papua New Guinea signed a Memorandum of Understanding putting in place new air services arrangements that were negotiated last year.

I suspect that the reference in The National's article to "fleet freedom rights" may in fact be to fifth freedom rights at intermediate points.

21 September 2009

India and Saudi Arabia amend their air services arrangements

On 17 September 2009 India announced that it had approved enhanced opportunities in its air services arrangements that had been negotiated with Saudi Arabia (HT to Mike Swiatek). The enhanced features include multiple designation, a capacity increase and new destination points (see previous post).

20 September 2009

Lord Adonis speech on Cleaner, greener aviation

On 17 September 2009 the UK Secretary of State for Transport delivered a speech to the Aviation Club in London on aviation and the environment issues.

Classic aeropolitics from the Australian archives

In the late 1970s Australia, with its International Civil Aviation Policy (ICAP), tried to reduce the share of the Australia-Europe market being taken by sixth freedom carrier Singapore Airlines by declining to allow it to match the cheapest tariffs for air travel on the route. The response was a heated dispute between Australia and ASEAN.

The National Archives of Australia has released UPDATED a key 1978 Australian Cabinet paper from that time. It provides a classic case study in aeropolitics.

The 3 March 1979 issue of Flight International carried a report of what happened. Related documents from ASEAN, such as a record UPDATED of a special meeting of Economics Ministers held on 22 February 1979 held in response to ICAP, a press release UPDATED following that meeting which alludes to "retaliatory measures", and a joint press release UPDATED on a ministerial-level meeting held between ASEAN and Australia on 20-21 March 1979, are also now available on the web.

Today Australia still takes what some might describe as a protectionist approach to international air services having very few "open skies" agreements and declining to grant fifth freedom access for Singaporean and Canadian airlines to the Australia-Mainland USA market while V Australia establishes itself.

Hong Kong concludes an air services agreement with Laos

On 9 September 2009 Hong Kong announced that it had signed an air services agreement with the Lao People's Democratic Republic. No details are given as to the features of the agreement but the statement notes Hong Kong's "policy of progressive liberalisation in air services between Hong Kong and our aviation partners." This is Hong Kong's sixtieth air services agreement (list).

Singapore concludes new air services agreements with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador

On 26 August 2009 the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced that Singapore had concluded new air services agreements with Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. The new agreement with Peru is described as being "open skies" and includes seventh freedom rights for air cargo services. That with Ecuador has restrictions on the frequency of passenger but not cargo air services. The new arrangements with Colombia restrict both passenger and cargo frequency (to be increased in 2011).

Airbus Global Market Forecast 2009-2028 published

Airbus has just published its annual Global Market Forecast for the period 2009 to 2028. The online version comes in the form of a 164 page interactive .pdf document.

Of particular interest are the comments Airbus makes about what its sees as the future drivers of air transport demand. The commentary also covers the growth and spread of low-cost carriers.

As might be expected given the products Airbus is offering and in a year that has seen the A380 enter service in increasing numbers, the case for larger aircraft is also advanced. Somewhat surprisingly though the trans-Tasman leg of the Emirates A380 service to Auckland has been missed off the map of A380 routes on page 69.

Every year Boeing publish a similar set of forecasts (see previous post) so it can be interesting to compare the conclusions of the two biggest airliner manufacturers as to what the future might hold.

ASPIRE publishes its first annual report

The Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) has now published its first Annual Report covering its activities in 2008/09. The year saw successful demonstration flights by Air New Zealand, Qantas and United Airlines showing what improved air traffic control could do to reduce fuel consumption and emissions (see previous post).

The historical development of the Qantas international network

A 2005 paper by Peter J. Rimmer Australia through the Prism of Qantas: Distance make a Comeback published in The Otemon Journal of Australian Studies provides a fascinating history of the development of the Qantas international network. The paper is well illustrated with air route maps.

A key point to note is that changes in technology have reduced the need to make intermediate stops. What Qantas calls its Kangaroo route between Sydney and London, although not yet non stop, does not need so many hops these days.

30 August 2009

New Centre for Air Transport Research established at Otago University

Following funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and the Ministry of Tourism that was announced on 18 August 2009 by the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Wayne Mapp, and the Associate Minister of Tourism, Jonathan Coleman, a new Centre for Air Transport Research (CATR) has just been established in the Tourism Department at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The Director is Associate Professor David Timothy Duval. In its first year CATR will be working with Auckland economics consultancy Covec. As well as creating a web site, CATR also has a Twitter feed.

Other tourism research funding in this tranche went to Victoria University (Associate Professor Ian Yeoman) and Lincoln University (Associate Professor Susanne Becken).

A 24 August 2009 story in the New Zealand Herald covered the news.

23 August 2009

Virgin Atlantic criticising UK Air Passenger Duty

UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic has launched a web site section criticising the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) as an unjust tax (see previous post).

Amongst the "Key Points" is a call for the UK Government to withdraw APD when the EU emissions trading scheme covers aviation in 2012.

The web site encourages UK readers to write to their local MP.

Trans-Tasman air facilitation announcements

On 20 August 2009 the New Zealand and Australian governments made a set of announcements on how passengers crossing the Tasman would in future be processed through airports.

Media statements included those from:

22 August 2009

Lufthansa Policy Brief

The German airline Lufthansa is producing a regular public affairs publication it calls Lufthansa Policy Brief. The web site also has the articles arranged by topic. The earliest issue on the web site is from September 2005.

18 August 2009

US proposal for convention to remove ability to restrict foreign ownership of international airlines

Included on the IATA Agenda for Freedom web site (see previous post) is the draft text of a United States proposal for a multilateral convention that could speed up the removal of potential restrictions on foreign ownership and control of international airlines from bilateral air services agreements.

IATA "Agenda for Freedom" web site

The Geneva and Montreal based International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents most of the worlds international airlines, has established a dedicated web site for its Agenda for Freedom initiative (see previous post).

The site already contains a useful resource of information that is described as best practice on air services liberalisation from the European Commission, Switzerland, the United States of America and Chile.

Update of Australia-EU air services negotiations

A 7 August 2009 report in The Australian by Steve Creedy covers comments made by the Secretary of the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Mike Mrdak, on Australia's air services negotiations with the European Commission.

Mrdak was addressing an Australia Pacific Aviation Outlook summit conference held in Sydney.

McGill IASL holds Workshop and Conference in Abu Dhabi

The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) from Montreal has posted many of the presentations from a Workshop and Conference on Air Transport, Air & Space Law and Regulation that it held in Abu Dhabi on 12-16 April 2009.

From what one can tell from the inevitable .ppt slides, the basics seem to be well covered in the Workshop with, for example, the point being made that the US "open skies" model air services agreement lacks some features such as seventh freedom passenger rights and cabotage so it cannot really be described as totally open.

An interesting presentation from the Conference is that by Alan Khee-Jin Tan from the National University of Singapore on the proposed South East Asian Single Aviation Market.

13 August 2009

Canada concludes "Blue Sky" air transport agreement with South Africa

On 5 August 2009 the Canadian Minister of Transport, John Baird, and Minister of International Trade, Stockwell Day, announced the conclusion of a "Blue Sky" air transport agreement between Canada and South Africa.

Air Canada and South African Airways are both members of the Star Alliance.

The ministerial statement also outlines the progress Canada has made in its air services agreement negotiations since January 2006 (see previous post).

08 August 2009

"Open Sky" from Emirates Airline

I have recently been reading issues of Open Sky, described as "The public affairs journal of Emirates." They are quite thought provoking for those interested in aeropolitics.

As might be expected given its circumstances, Emirates Airline is a strong advocate of market liberalisation.

It is also good to see the airline is now taking a more constructive approach to environment issues than was evident in the past (see previous post).

Air transport and the NZ Consumers Price Index

Buried deep in the revamped Statistics New Zealand web site one can find using Infoshare NEW data series for international and domestic air transport prices, together with road, rail and sea passenger transport prices - look under Economic Indicators: Consumers Price Index: CPI Classes for New Zealand.

I am not sure precisely what of the many thousands of tariffs the statisticians are monitoring to come up with these series. With respect to domestic air travel Price Index News: July 2009 UPDATED does however state:

"The initial impact of a recent new entrant [Jetstar], offering passenger air transport services on several routes within New Zealand, including the main trunk routes between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, will be mostly reflected in the CPI for the June 2009 quarter. Domestic air transport prices are collected monthly, for travel the following month. For example, prices collected in mid-May for travel to be taken in mid-June are included in the May month for CPI purposes. As such, approximately two-thirds of the impact of the introduction will be shown in the June 2009 quarter, with the remainder in the September 2009 quarter. Of the domestic routes tracked for the CPI, flights between the three main centres carry between 50 and 60 percent of the expenditure weight of the domestic air transport index."

Update on NZ international aviation treaties work

The July 2009 International Treaties List published by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade outlines the status of work on air services agreements. It lists Canada, the European Union, South Africa and Turkey as the areas that are under action.

IMO releases report on GHG emissions from shipping

The London-based UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) has released a 287-page Second IMO GHG Study dated 9 April 2009.

"The Study estimated that ships engaged in international trade in 2007 contributed about 2.7 per cent of the world's anthropogenic CO2 emissions and also states that emission reductions are feasible through technical and operational measures as well as through the introduction of market-based reduction mechanisms."

The study was considered by the Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO at its 59th Session held on 13-17 July 2009. The first study was dated 2000.

Our daily commute - New Zealanders' travel patterns

A couple of recent reports focus on the changing travel patterns of New Zealanders.

In August 2009 the Ministry of Transport published a 44-page report, How New Zealanders Travel, based on its Ongoing Household Travel Survey work that started in 1988. One of the notable changes is how fewer children are walking to school. The report also focusses on the safety risks we face when travelling, highlighting the dangers of motorcycling and cycling.

In terms of my personal morning 30km commute, I am in the 1% group that travels by a combination of car, public transport (in my case a train) and walking.

On 6 July 2009 Statistics New Zealand published a report, Commuting Patterns in New Zealand 1996-2006, based on census returns. This focusses on Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Further papers released on 29 July 2009, Workforces on the move and Human capital and commuting to and within the four cities of Auckland, cover similar ground.

The distance of my personal commute is clearly at the high end.

Annual report on New Zealand Energy Greenhouse Gase Emissions

On 21 July 2009 the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development released its annual report on New Zealand's Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Data for domestic and international aviation is in Table 2.3 on page 13.

The international transport emissions are included "for reference only" as there is not internationally agreed methodology for their allocation to individual countries.

A note of caution - there have been questions in the past about the accuracy of the data with respect to aviation.

26 July 2009

Lord Adonis on the UK Air Passenger Duty

The uncorrected transcript of the appearance by Lord Adonis. the UK Secretary for State for Transport, before the House of Commons Transport Committee inquiry into the Future of Aviation (see previous post) on 15 July 2009 is now available. The following is what he said on the subject of the UK Air Passenger Duty (see previous post):

"Q577 Chairman: I would like now to go back to aviation. Could you tell us what is the primary purpose of air passenger duty?

Lord Adonis: The primary purpose is to recover the environmental impacts that aviation makes.

Q578 Chairman: Do you think that aviation does pay for its environmental impacts?

Lord Adonis: We think that with air passenger duty as it currently stands it broadly does so, but of course as the shadow price of carbon changes that judgment will change over time.

Q579 Mr Clelland: Does that mean that that levy is going to be ring-fenced to use for reducing carbon in that area?

Lord Adonis: All levies of this kind, of course, go into the general pot so far as the Treasury is concerned.

Q580 Mr Clelland: The objective of the levy is to deal with the impact of air travel on the environment but the actual levy is not going to be necessarily used for that purpose.

Lord Adonis: The Chairman said what is the primary purpose; I said the primary purpose was to meet the environmental impacts of aviation but it is also a contribution to the wider cost of public services and of course the Treasury would not accept a case for ring-fencing it given the wider role.

Q581 Chairman: Would you be concerned if air passenger duty was seen to threaten the viability of some regional airports?

Lord Adonis: We do not believe that it does so.

Q582 Chairman: Has a case ever been put to you that it does and hoe many representations have you made?

Lord Adonis: We think it is appropriate. I will be quite frank, Chairman, I do not think aviation has a credible future unless it is able to make a bigger contribution to meeting its environmental costs and we therefore stand by decisions we have taken in respect of air passenger duty.

Q583 Graham Stringer: Do I understand the primary purpose of air passenger duty as being to pay the environmental cost for aviation, because when Kenneth Clark introduced it, it was to get over the last recession, it was just a tax?

Lord Adonis: I do not have his explanation to hand but I believe when he introduced it his explanation of the purpose was in terms of the environmental benefits that it would bring about, if aviation met a larger share of the cost of the impacts that it creates on society.

Q584 Graham Stringer: I heard him say the opposite but we can check the record.

Lord Adonis: I am happy to produce the words at the time but it is certainly our view that it is important that the taxation ensures that the aviation industry does meet its environmental costs.

Q585 Graham Stringer: The latest increase will take it well past its environmental costs, will it not?

Lord Adonis: That is not our judgment, our judgment is that it about meets its environmental costs.

Q586 Chairman: The aviation industry is extremely worried about air passenger duty.

Lord Adonis: In my experience all industries are always worried about taxes on them, that is just a given I am afraid in any industry. All industries would dearly love taxation to be reduced on them and of course they quite appropriately make representations to ministers to have those taxes reduced.

Q587 Chairman: Do you see the Government having any role in relation to taxation in the current economic climate?

Lord Adonis: It is not the Government's intention to reduce air passenger duty but future taxation policy of course is not for me, it is for the Chancellor.

Q588 Chairman: What would you be recommending the Chancellor does?

Lord Adonis: That is a matter for the Chancellor; I do not think I can comment on decisions he might take.

Q589 Chairman: You must be making some kind of recommendation.

Lord Adonis: I do believe it is right that aviation should meet its full responsibilities in terms of its environmental impacts.


Q593 Mr Wilshire: You said you did not think air passenger duty would have any harm and it seemed to cover the costs. Does that mean that you consider our continental competitors, who have either frozen their tax or reduced it or abolished it - do you think they are all wrong and we are right?

Lord Adonis: These are decisions that every government has to make for itself. I certainly would not dream of criticising fellow European governments, they have to take these decisions in respect of their own circumstances.

Q594 Mr Wilshire: But they have done what you consider to be wrong for this country?

Lord Adonis: They do not take decisions in respect of Britain, just as I do not take decisions on their behalf.

Q595 Mr Clelland: Is there not a big problem with this because at the moment air passengers can voluntarily pay a carbon offset when they travel. They pay an additional fee and that money specifically goes to reducing carbon emissions. If we put on a new air passenger duty is that not going to encourage passengers not to pay their carbon offset, yet the air passenger duty is not going to go for the purposes of reducing carbon so we are actually going to lose the benefit for the environment.

Lord Adonis: The funding from air passenger duty like all sources of income to the Treasury goes on all of the purposes of government. One of the principal purposes of government, as we have seen today in Ed Miliband's statement, is carbon reduction. In my Department we very recently announced a £250 million fund to incentivise motorists to buy ultra low carbon or electric vehicles.

Q596 Mr Clelland: But how is it going to help if passengers now say "I am not going to pay the voluntary levy because you have put this additional tax on us"; how is it going to help the environment?

Lord Adonis: There are many different sources of funding for carbon reduction. The Government is responsible for the public funding and that public funding goes into a pot, one of the principal objectives of which is carbon reduction so it is perfectly sensible what we do now. The decisions that individuals make on their account thereafter are a matter for them.

Q597 Chairman: Thank you very much for coming.

Lord Adonis: I would be happy to provide any more information that would be helpful for you."

I note in particular Q578 from the Chairman and Q585 from Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Manchester, Blackley, and the replies from Lord Adonis.

The proposed increases in the air passenger duty are the subject of an e-petition on the Number10.govt.uk web site.

Argentina in air rights dispute with Uruguay

On 23 July 2009 Airline Business reported on an air rights disagreement between Uruguay and Argentina that is seeing the Urguayan carrier, Pluna, switch its attention to Paraguay where it plans to create a mini hub.

Argentina has recently renationalised Aerolineas Argentinas.

Emirates Airline accuses Transport Canada

On 25 July 2009 the Toronto Star carried a report about the views Transport Canada has about Emirates Airline and the Emirates response which states that the department is making "slanderous" allegations. This story is being discussed in an aviation forum on Airliners.net. On 4 June 2009 the Financial Post reported Emirates CEO Tim Clark as saying the the Canadian government's approach was "ludicrous" and "protectionism of the worst kind." The Star carried an earlier report about lobbying by Emirates on 28 February 2009.

My read of the situation is that my Canadian counterparts are grappling with one of the more fundamental aeropolitical dilemmas of the last decade - how should governments (it is governments that exchange the air rights on a reciprocal basis) respond the spectacular rise of airlines from the Gulf region? They are not alone.

The home countries of the Gulf carriers are putting together an impressive number of air services arrangements that the carriers can utilise, taking advantage of their geographic location between Europe, Asia and Africa, to exploit the sixth freedom opportunities that as a consequence become available.

Many of these Gulf carriers seem intent on gaining global market share at the expense of profitability, although financial information is simply not disclosed by airlines such as Qatar Airways and Etihad. Not having to pay tax and enjoying some of the cheapest landing fees in the world at their home airports no doubt helps, as does the fact that reciprocal rights for other airlines to serve the Gulf region are often of limited value.

As a consequence the Gulf carriers and their home airports now play a much larger role in their respective economies than is typically the case of international airlines in other countries.

Emirates currently operates 28 wide-body flights into New Zealand every week (see previous post).

22 July 2009

Canada signs "Blue Sky" agreement with New Zealand

On 21 July 2009 at an APEC trade ministers' meeting in Singapore a new "blue sky" air transport agreement was signed by Hon Tim Grosser for New Zealand and Hon Stockwell Day for Canada. Both the Canadian and New Zealand governments have released media statements announcing the signing (see also previous post).

The new treaty removes capacity and capacity restrictions, and opens up fifth freedom opportunities for the airlines of both countries. It also includes an exchange of seventh freedom opportunities for freighter services.

I led the New Zealand delegation at the negotiations.

18 July 2009

General aviation in the USA responding to criticism

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in the United States has launched a web site, GA Serves America, to publicise the role of general aviation. Its activities, such as flight training, are vital for the health of the airline industry.

The business aviation sector was hit even harder by the global economic recession than other sectors when US Congressmen and others criticised automobile industry chief executives used their business jets to travel to a hearing in Washington DC about the financial troubles they were facing. The CEOs had appeared at a hearing of the US Senate Banking Committee on 18 November 2008. This was covered in reporting on 19 November 2008 by ABC.

One has to wonder whether the critics even thought of the number of layoffs in the aviation industry that would be caused as a direct consequence of their remarks. One also has to question whether it would be good use of his time for the Ford CEO paid US$28m per year to be standing around in queues for check-in, aviation security and boarding!

Ironically Fox News reported on 18 February 2009 that the US fiscal stimulus package included tax breaks to buy business jets. This is done by allowing accelerated tax depreciation.

There is also a New Zealand AOPA.

Web site on Erebus disaster created by NZALPA

The forthcoming 30th anniversary of the crash of TE901, when an Air New Zealand DC-10 aircraft hit Mount Erebus in Antarctica killing 257 people on 28 November 1989, has been remembered by the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA) with the launch of a dedicated web site.

The subsequent investigations (the reports are available on the web site) have been controversial ever since, but have helped lead to a more comprehensive understanding of why aviation disasters occur and what can be done to prevent them.

I still remember the day when we heard the news that the aircraft had gone missing. I was a student attending the University of Otago in Dunedin at the time.

Sudan signs "liberal" air services MoU with the UAE

On 11 June 2009 the Emirates News Agency reported that the United Arab Emirates had signed a "liberal" Memorandum of Understanding on international air services with Sudan.

Estonia negotiates "open sky" air services agreement with the UAE

On 14 July 2009 the Emirates News Agency reported that Estonia had negotiated and initialled an "open sky" air services agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

12 July 2009

Recent trends in New Zealand domestic air passenger numbers

Since the economic deregulation of New Zealand's domestic air transport market in the 1980s that, among other things, permitted ninth freedom cabotage, the government has not collected passenger movement statistics directly from the airlines. The three major airport companies, however, have been obliged to publish total domestic passenger numbers and this should give a comprehensive picture of trends. With the exception of an Air New Zealand Hamilton (HLZ) - Palmerston North (PMR) sector, virtually all major domestic airline services in New Zealand originate, terminate or pass through Auckland (AKL), Wellington (WLG) and/or Christchurch UPDATED (CHC) airports.

With a wish to see what impact the 10 June 2009 switch from Qantas to its subsidiary Jetstar will have on the overall New Zealand domestic passenger market, I have completed a couple of graphs through to May 2009 as a benchmark.

Note that Pacific Blue commenced domestic operations on 12 November 2007 (see previous post) which, as the following graph shows, clearly stimulated the market.

The second graph compares the percentage change between the month concerned and the corresponding month for the prior year.

The data sources for these graphs are available here for AKL, here for WLG and here for CHC. Unfortunately AKL and CHC airport companies have not made historic monthly data available on their web sites.

10 July 2009

Fuel prices bouncing back up

Around six months ago I posted graphs of the Singapore spot prices converted to New Zealand dollars of aviation jet fuel and residual fuel oil (RFO) used in ships. The updated graphs through to June 2009 that follow illustrate how these spot prices have been rising in recent months.

Again I have used monthly data from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for the foreign exchange rates and from the US Energy Information Administration for the fuel spot prices.

New Zealand to help Cook Islands underwrite air service to LAX

On 10 July 2009, during a visit to Rarotonga, the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, announced that this financial year New Zealand will support the Cook Islands Government’s decision to underwrite any loss on Air New Zealand’s weekly Los Angeles-Rarotonga-Auckland route, with a capped $1 million contribution from the aid programme (see previous post).

Virgin Blue and Delta seeking approvals for joint venture

On 9 July 2009 Virgin Blue Airlines Group and Delta Air Lines announced that they would be seeking regulatory approval for a joint venture between the United States, and Australia and the South Pacific. The airlines are looking to collaborate "... on route and product planning, codesharing on their respective networks and extending frequent flyer program benefits and lounge access to customers of both airlines."

Regulatory filings are being made with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the US Department of Transportation (DoT). It will be possible to follow the ACCC process here NEW on its Authorisations Register and the US DoT process here UPDATED on Regulations.gov UPDATED

As announced on 23 March 2009, Virgin Blue long-haul subsidiary V Australia is already interlining with Delta. V Australia announced on 3 June 2009 that it would also be also be interlining with Virgin America.

V Australia commenced operations from Australia to Los Angeles (LAX) on 27 February 2009, having had its start up delayed by the Boeing strike. Delta commenced operations from LAX to Sydney (SYD) on 1 July 2009.

Given the ACCC's January 2009 rejection of a tie up between Air New Zealand and Air Canada (see previous post) and the US Department of Justice submission on the application of Continental Airlines to join the Star Alliance and cooperate on trans-Atlantic services (see Docket), this new case should be an interesting one to follow. On 10 July 2009 the Sydney Morning Herald carried a story on the prospects.

Singapore, on behalf of Singapore Airlines, has long been seeking fifth freedom rights from Australia to enable it to compete on the Australia-US route. It already has the necessary rights with the US under the MALIAT.

05 July 2009

Tourism Australia research on 26 aviation markets

Tourism Australia has published 26 aviation market reports on its web site, including a May 2009 profile for the New Zealand (trans-Tasman) market (see previous post).

Unlike New Zealand, Australian official sources make available comprehensive airline market share and seat capacity data.

Switzerland and Japan increase air services opportunities

Following negotiations held between Switzerland and Japan on 1-2 July 2009, on 3 July 2009 Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism NEW announced (in Japanese) that the routes and capacity for air services by the airlines of the two countries have been expanded (see previous post). Airline Route Updates provided a summary NEW in English.

US GAO reports on Aviation and Climate Change

On 8 June 2009 the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a 95-page report entitled Aviation and Climate Change: Aviation Emissions Expected to Grow but Technological and Operational Improvements and Government Policies Can Help Control Emissions (.pdf)(see previous post).

The Report includes an Appendix 1 on Legal Implication of European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

21 June 2009

Korea and Japan expand air services opportunities

In a 10 June 2009 post the Airline Route Update weblog reports that Japan and Korea have again expanded the opportunities available under their air services arrangements (see previous post).

This would seem to again point to a willingness on the part of Japan to open up Osaka and Nagoya to fifth freedom services by foreign carriers as part of a new policy approach (see previous post).

Thanks to a link from Airline Route Update I have discovered where to find the official press statements NEW from the Japanese aeronautical authorities at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism NEW on the outcomes of their air services negotiations. Unfortunately they are only available in Japanese but a rough translation NEW is possible using Google Translate NEW. I will endeavour to update my previous posts that used secondary sources.

Five hundred posts on this weblog

This post is the 500th I have made on this weblog since my first post on 26 November 2006.

I deliberately decided at the outset to use my own name rather than a nom de plume. It has meant that I have been somewhat guarded in any comments that I have made, trying to appear to be the neutral public servant that my day job requires.

The weblog has probably been more focussed on subjects related to my work on international air services than I originally intended, but I hope that it has provided a useful set of pointers to sources on the web for aeropolitical matters. It is a fairly arcane subject so I have not been expected a mass readership, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of visitors I have had from around the world. Some posts attract much more attention than others, usually not because of what I have to say but the quality of the work of others that I have linked to.

Also, I have not tried to post every day as some of the more dedicated bloggers do, so sometimes it may take a few weeks for "news" to appear on this site, and I make no claims that the coverage is comprehensive. Some of the weblogs listed down the right-hand side of my weblog do a much better job of that than I do and I am a regular reader of many of them.

At the beginning of this month I placed a Flag Counter widget in the right-hand column that will give an further indication of the many countries visitors to this site come from. This is in addition to the Feedjit map and listing.

I have continued to try to keep my home pages up to date with over a thousand web links, many related to my work, and have been trying out Twitter, Facebook and Flickr (click for my material) for more personal material.

Turkey and Japan agree to expand air services opportunities

In a 10 June 2009 post the Airline Route Update weblog reports that Japan and Turkey have expanded the opportunities available under their air services arrangements.

Expanded air services arrangements between Japan and Italy

In a 19 June 2009 post the Airline Route Update weblog from Canada reports that Japan and Italy have expanded the opportunities available under their air services arrangements.

ICAO Group on International Aviation and Climate Change Final Report released

After four meetings held in 2008 and 2009, the 24-page Final Report (.pdf) of the International Civil Aviation Organization's Group on International Aviation and Climate Change (GIACC) dated 1 June 2009 has been released (see previous post).

The GIACC Report sets out a 21-point Programme of Action which was adopted by consensus. The Report, however, makes clear that there were a number of points on which no consensus was reached.

The report will now be considered by an ICAO High-Level Meeting to be held later in 2009.

15 June 2009

Report from CANSO highlights air traffic management inefficiencies

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) web site, which has be revamped, contains an important new report ATM Global Environment Efficiency Goals for 2050 (.pdf) completed in December 2008.

The report highlights the inefficiency of air traffic management (ATM) in Europe. A key finding is that the European air traffic control system is estimated to be 89-93% efficient compared with the Australian system at 98-99%. Reducing this inefficiency has an important role to play in reducing aircraft emissions.

"Efficiency" of 100% in this context is defined as aircraft being able to take the shortest (great circle) route between A and B at the most appropriate altitude and speed for fuel efficiency, and not be delayed. The report says that safety, weather and noise considerations mean that 100% efficiency is virtually impossible to achieve.

The global ATM efficiency is estimated to be 92-94%. It is good to have some hard facts that show the number used by UK official sources, whilst about correct for flights within Europe, is not appropriate in a global context
(see previous post).

The CANSO report also features what is being done to improve ATM performance with SESAR in Europe, NextGen in the United States, and ASPIRE (see previous post) in the Asia-Pacific region.