24 July 2011

US Congress to ban US airlines participating in EU ETS?

On 20 July 2011 the US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced that it is intended to ban US airlines participating in the "illegal" coverage of international aviation by the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme by means of a short, 5-section Bill.

GreenAir Online covers the development in a 21 July 2011 article, and includes reaction from MEPs.

Many such bills will not make it into law but the fact that this one has bipartisan support suggests that it should not be taken lightly. With key interests in both the United States and China (see previous post) both firmly opposed to the unilateral action being taken by the European Union, as Flightglobal journalist Will Horton has noted, this could get ugly.

US airlines case against EU ETS coverage heard by European Court of Justice

On 5 July 2011 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) heard a case (C-366/10) brought by the US Air Transport Association (ATA), American Airlines and United Continental Holdings against their inclusion the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)(see previous post).

The ATA has published it oral argument and written observations here.

The Aviation Environment Federation issued a statement noting some of the arguments put in favour of the legality of extending coverage.

The hearing was covered 6 July 2011 articles in Air Transport World and Aviation Week.

An opinion on the case will be delivered by the Advocate General on 6 October 2011 with a final judgement to follow later.

New Zealand Government mandates air services negotiations in East Asia and South America

On 14 July 2011 the New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport, Nathan Guy, announced that New Zealand's air services negotiators had been issued with mandates for negotiations with up to 10 countries in East Asia and South America. China and Brazil were specifically named. These regions are seen as emerging markets with considerable growth potential. In addition, the prospect of Auckland (AKL) gaining a share of East Asia-South America traffic is referred to. The statement refers to the LAN-Cathay Pacific code share via Auckland (see previous post).

Auckland and Christchurch airports both made media statements welcoming the announcement.

On 15 July 2011 Flight Global (Will Horton) and Aviation Week (Adrian Schofield) covered the news. The latter noted that capacity restrictions applied under New Zealand's current air services agreements with China and Brazil.

A 21 July 2011 Air Transport Intelligence article by Will Horton notes the technology and alliance challenges Air New Zealand faces if it is to serve Brazil.

The Minister's media statement also announced the New Zealand had reached agreement with the Netherlands to remove restrictions on code sharing. This allows SkyTeam member, KLM, to code share to AKL via Guangzhou on the new China Southern operation (see previous post). KLM has been code sharing to New Zealand on Malaysia Airlines which is joining the oneworld alliance.

10 July 2011

"Aerotropolis - The Way We'll Live Next" by John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay

I had expected that this book would be more of an academic work than what it is - largely one of business journalism - but it is well worth a read nonetheless.

Aerotropolis gives a good picture of the role that civil aviation is now playing in globalisation, and how airports have become central to modern economies and urban development.

Featured in the book are developments around:

  • Incheon (ICN) - where a new city, Songdo, is being built
  • Los Angeles (LAX) - where the airport had not been supported
  • Dulles (IAD) - near Washington DC in a wealthy and growing part of Virginia
  • Chicago (ORD) - where there were plans for an additional airport
  • Memphis (MEM) and Louisville (SDF) - hubs for FedEx and UPS respectively
  • Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) - hub for American Airlines
  • Detroit (DTW) - second hub for Delta with links to Asia and looking to build a Detroit Region Aerotropolis
  • Denver (DEN) - where a completely new airport was opened
  • Amsterdam (AMS) - with its associated flower market
  • Dubai (DXB), Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Doha (DOH) - with their competing global ambitions
  • Bangkok (BKK) - where a new airport has been built on a swamp
  • Hong Kong (HKG), Guangzhou (CAN) and Shenzhen (SZX) - vital to the success of manufacturing in the Pearl River Delta

For me, the book's coverage of developments in China was the most interesting, perhaps because it was the least familiar.

Memorable concepts from the book include:

  • "Kasarda's Law of Connectivity: every technology meant to circumvent distances electronically ... will only stoke our desire to transverse [distance] ourselves."
  • "Individual companies don't compete. Supply chains compete. Networks and systems compete."
  • Marchetti's Constant

One piece of advice that is actually included late in the book. Use Google Earth while reading "Aerotropolis" to get an idea of the lie of the land around the airports being referred to.

Reviews of the book have appeared in:

It is clear that civil aviation in general and the future that Kasarda outlines have their sceptics and this book is somewhat provocative.

An earlier 1 July 2006 article, Rise of the Aerotropolis, on the concept by Greg Lindsay appeared in Fast Company.

03 July 2011

Seat capacity limit between Australia and Indonesia increased

On 1 July 2011 the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Anthony Albanese, announced UPDATED that Australia and Indonesia had reached an understanding to increase the seat capacity that may be operated by the airlines of the two countries by 86% to 27,500 seats per week.

The Minister's statement highlighted the 32% average annual growth in passenger demand between the two countries over the last three years.