On 12 February 2010 the Fiji Times reported that air services negotiations between Fiji and the United Arab Emirates would continue at the third ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference to be held in Jamaica at the end of June (see previous post).
The UAE Foreign Minister has been making a multi-stop visit to the South West Pacific.
On 14 February 2010 the Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Hon Anthony Albanese, announced a phased increase in seat capacity (by 70%) and traffic rights in its air services arrangements with China.
No detail is given as to what new points beyond Australia Chinese airlines will be able to operate to but one might speculate that they involve New Zealand.
On 12 February 2010 the Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government announced that Australia had agreed a seat capacity increase for air services with the United Arab Emirates. Some of this extra capacity is conditional on UAE carriers serving regional airports in Australia.
The Singapore Ministry of Transport announced on 2 February 2010 that Singapore had signed a new air services agreement with Nepal. The arrangements provide for capacity limited on the basis of service frequency and a limited exchange of fifth freedom rights for passenger services. Traffic rights for cargo services are more open.
On 11 February 2010 the Government of India announced that its Cabinet had approved new air services arrangements with Nepal following negotiations held in September 2009. The new arrangements provide for a capacity cap based on the number of seats per week with sub limits for services by Nepali airlines on the routes to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi that will be phased out next year.
Of particular interest is the graph of the evolution of aircraft energy intensity on page 17. It clearly makes the point that, although better aircraft technology is available, it takes time for airline fleets to be re-equipped.
On 5 February 2010 the Dominion Post reported comments from Australian and New Zealand tourism industry group leaders who are determined to continue lobbying against increases in UK's Air Passenger Duty (see previous post).
The article notes that the increases have been the subject of correspondence between the New Zealand and UK Prime Ministers, John Key and Gordon Brown, and quotes Key on the issue.
The Commission noted that in the last five years competition in the relevant markets has increased. Table 2.1 on page 13 in the draft determination shows how airline market shares in the Australian international air transport market have changed over the last decade with sixth freedom carriers Singapore Airlines (SQ), Emirates Airline (EK) and Cathay Pacific (CX) making significant gains. This needs to be read with care as the market share Qantas subsidiary Jetstar (JQ) is not given next to that of Qantas. The decline in the Qantas group market share has not been as dramatic as it appears at first glance, with the combined market share being 29.8% in 2009 (or did the draft mean 2008?).
In a 5 February 2010 report on the release Steve Creedy in the Australian noted that British Airwayswill cut its daily Sydney-Singapore-London flights next month but it will continue to fly a daily service via Bangkok.