Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
COMMENT: British Airways” Rod Eddington has been busy on two fronts. Firstly sounding out against plans to further limit early morning arrivals at Heathrow. The consequences of restrictions could be very serious with Britain”s lead in the European air travel business under a real threat. The more difficulties the more the excuse for airlines to take services away from Heathrow. He also used a speaking opportunity at the Institute of Economic Affairs to again call on European governments and the industry to back a mandate for the EU to negotiate a genuine transatlantic ”open skies” with the United States. Last month the European Court of Justice ruled eight EU nations, including the UK, had broken EU law by negotiating bilateral agreements with the US. He called for the UK government - ”with its excellent liberalisation credentials” ” to negotiate a Transatlantic Common Aviation Area (TCAA) which would allow airlines a much more liberal access. The TCAA would cover 60% of global passenger movements. In the speech, given at the Caf” Royal in London, he also repeated calls for the restrictions on cross-border ownership to be lifted and complained that ”the US domestic market has remained effectively closed to non-US airlines.” Eddington also said that post 11 September, the ”playing field” had tipped even further in favour of the US airlines with $9bn of cash grants handed to them. Eddington also mentioned, in passing, the possibility of the World Trade Organisation getting involved in a ”multilateral liberal structure for global aviation” by saying that an EU/US solution would be the most practical and feasible way forward.