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.