UK and US fail again to agree `open skies' air links
Saturday 20 February 1999
The sides agreed another meeting but set no a date. "It is slow ahead rather than coming to a halt," said a source.
US negotiators rejected a UK proposal for a phased move to full "open skies" liberalisation of the current agreement, including access to the US domestic market, from which foreign airlines are excluded.
"The UK was disappointed that the US government could not accept its proposal and asked the US to give it further thought," said a UK transport department spokesperson.
The Americans laid out general principles for structuring a transition to a new open skies agreement, to replace the Bermuda II pact in operation since 1997. This allows two airlines from each side - BA and Virgin, American Airlines and United - to fly between London/Heathrow and the US.
Patrick Murphy, deputy assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the US Department of Transportation, said on Wednesday that the US still favoured an immediate agreement on open skies rather than the phased-in approach favoured by BA and American, which feel that would spark a price war just as the economy softens.
The talks also failed to resolve demands by US carriers Continental and US Airways for acceptable takeoff and landing slots at Gatwick for two new transatlantic routes.
Britain told the Americans that under European Union law, allocation of runway slots was not in the Government's gift but was a matter for the industry's slot scheduling process.
The talks were the first since negotiations ended abruptly in October when the US delegation walked out, ending BA's hopes of cementing its pact with American. A BA/AA business alliance would be one of the fruits of an open skies agreement. Under EU plans it would free up 267 slots at Heathrow.
It had been hoped the talks would move on after BA and AA said they were moving towards developing the "oneworld" global marketing group of airlines and settle for a phased development of their own alliance.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...