Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
COMMENT: The Supreme Court of Europe, based in Luxembourg, last week ruled that the UK and seven other states acted illegally by signing bilateral aviation deals with the US. Brussels will now attempt to negotiate on behalf of the current 15 member states. However the present status quo continues and just how the US will view the new arrangements remains to be seen. The big difficulty is the question of slot rights at the major airports. Whilst BMi would probably be in a position to re-arrange its schedules at LHR to open up JFK and competing Stateside gateways, other would-be operators, either British or Continental, might not be in the same position and would seek landing and take-off positions. The BMi shareholders would also offer views including one that Lufthansa is better known in the US and more likely to make a go of the London route. Likewise BA could contemplate Transatlantic services from say CDG or FRA, airports that have fiercely nationalistic operators. Will European operators have equal rights on the other side? How are the various airline alliances affected and where do the competition rules fit? The ”open skies problem” is likely to run and run.