27 December 2009
Continental Airlines joined the Star Alliance on 27 October 2009.
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
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:
- Australian - Metal cutlery allowed back on planes under aviation reforms - Canberra to ease ownership rules for Qantas and Virgin Blue's V Australia
- Sydney Morning Herald - Master blaster Keating says that Badgerys is the only airport option - Development near airports to face new set of hurdles - Singapore edges closer to trans-Pacific rights
14 December 2009
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
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
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
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, ..."
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
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
- Civil Aviation is on the Spotlight Again
- Row erupted in Aviation and Communication Ministry
- "Gross Mismanagement of Public Funds"
- Board of Enquiry
- Minutes of Section Heads Meeting 26 October 2009
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
0.33 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
The article also notes that the Papua New Guinea government is subsidising the weekly Air Niugini flight to Tokyo.
11 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 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).
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.
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).
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".
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.
08 October 2009
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
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.
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."
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.
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
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
20 September 2009
The National Archives of Australia has released 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 of a special meeting of Economics Ministers held on 22 February 1979 held in response to ICAP, a press release following that meeting which alludes to "retaliatory measures", and a joint press release 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.
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.
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
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
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.
Media statements included those from:
- Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers - a brief mention
- New Zealand Prime Minister
- New Zealand Customs Minister
- New Zealand Biosecurity Minister
- New Zealand Immigration Minister
22 August 2009
18 August 2009
US proposal for convention to remove ability to restrict foreign ownership of international airlines
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.
Mrdak was addressing an Australia Pacific Aviation Outlook summit conference held in Sydney.
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
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
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).
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."
"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.
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.
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
"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
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 has recently renationalised Aerolineas Argentinas.
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
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
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.
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.
12 July 2009
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
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
Unlike New Zealand, Australian official sources make available comprehensive airline market share and seat capacity data.
The Report includes an Appendix 1 on Legal Implication of European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
21 June 2009
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.
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.
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
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.