US airlines want curb on foreign investment

PRESSURE is mounting on the Clinton administration to take a much more protectionist line over foreign investment in the US airline industry.

The big three US carriers, led by American Airlines, are warning that unless foreign investment is curbed, the difficulties of the industry will deepen, following the total dollars 8bn ( pounds 5.7bn) loss run up by US airlines in the past three years.

This will be one of the key planks of their evidence to the national commission into the future of the aviation industry announced this week by the Transportation Secretary, Federico Pena. The 15-member commission has 90 days to report back to President Bill Clinton and the US Congress with recommendations.

President Clinton is being urged to use British Airways' dollars 300m investment in USAir as an opportunity for a comprehensive review of US aviation trade policy. A savage price-cutting war on domestic routes, exacerbated by airlines operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has already weakened American, United Airlines and Delta.

They now fear that airlines such as BA will snatch more profitable international business by siphoning domestic passengers into their own transatlantic route networks.

The most vociferous opponent of the BA tie-up, Bob Crandall, chairman of American, said that the US should not allow any foreign airlines to serve its market unless US carriers had equal access and rights in their countries.

Mr Crandall said that the BA- USAir deal should be allowed to proceed only if there was a complete 'open skies' agreement across the Atlantic.

In a recent address to Wall Street analysts, Mr Crandall said: 'As part of its review, the US government should come to grips with the many pernicious and anti- competitive practices US carriers encounter abroad.' These included lack of access to overseas hubs and slots at congested airports such as Heathrow.

Although BA has watered down its investment in USAir so that it does not emerge with a controlling stake, Mr Clinton is being urged to veto the code-sharing element of the agreement that will enable domestic USAir routes to be classed as BA services.

American claims this will divert tens of thousands of passengers from other US airlines, putting huge numbers of jobs at risk. Mr Crandall said: 'The British government and BA have made it clear they have no interest in flying to the US if the price is opening BA's markets to US airlines. If that is the attitude it is quite hopeless. We will insist on an open- skies regime.'

Neil Warnock
football'New' manager for Crystal Palace
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
Arts and Entertainment
BBC series 'Sherlock' scooped a hat-trick of awards on the night. Benedict Cumberbatch received the award for Actor, Miniseries or Movie ('Sherlock: His Last Vow') while Martin Freeman won the award for Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie. Neither actor was present to collect their awards
Life and Style
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Client Services Executive / Account Executive - SW London

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Executive / Client Services ...

PA to CEO / Executive Secretary

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Executive PA to CEO & Executive Dire...

Generalist HR Administrator, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - £28,000.

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...

Management Accountant

£30-35k + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Management Accoun...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis