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OST Docket Filings for June 3, 2015
|Applications and Renewals:
EAS at Perryville, AK - Termination of Service of Grant Aviation
EAS at Twin Hills, AK - Termination of Service of Grant Aviation
United - Start-Up Extension and Amendment (San Francisco-Shanghai)
Answers and Replies:
Delta and AeroMexico - Confidentiality Affidavits of Volaris, Holland & Knight and Von Wobeser y Sierra (Antitrust Immunity)
Information Docket on Claims Raised about State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE - Comments of Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751, Ass'n of Professional Flight Attendants, Atlas Air, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Chamber of Commerce, California State Senator, Cargo Airline Ass'n, Citizen Action of NY, City of Brainerd, MN, City of Hallandale Beach, FL, City of Houston, City of Humble, TX, City of Romulus, MI, City of West Palm Beach, CWA Unified Council of Michigan, CWW, FedEx, FELIX in Hollywood, Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters, Harris County, TX County Judge, King County, WA Executive, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Senate, Mid-Michigan Business Travel Coalition, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Business & Industry Assn, Newark Regional Business Partnership, One Mile, Sacramento Municipal Utility Board of Directors, Texas State Representatives, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce
JetBlue - Polling Results (US-Anguilla/Dominica/British Virgin Islands Codesharing with Seaborne Airlines)
Travel Group, et al. - Status Report
Notices of Action Taken:
Notices and Orders:
Adjustment of Passenger Civil Aviation Security Fee - Inerim Final Rule and Request for Comments
Charter Air Transport - Consent Order (Accounting and Reporting Requirements)
EAS at Central and Circle, AK - Requesting Proposals
Gem Air - Confirming Oral Action an Issuing Effective Commuter Authorization (Salmon-Boise)
Monarch Air - Show Cause Proposing Issuance of Commuter Air Carrier Authority (Houston/Austin-Dallas)
Adjustment of Passenger Civil Aviation Security Fee
Issued May 29, 2015 | On File at the Federal Register June 3, 2015
The Transportation Security Administration is issuing this interim final rule to address a statutory change affecting the IFR published on June 20, 2014, which implemented the passenger civil aviation security service fee increase mandated by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. This IFR conforms TSA’s regulations to statutory amendments enacted since publication of the 2014 IFR. These amendments impose a round-trip limitation on the security service fee. All other aspects of the regulations, including those made by the 2014 IFR and provisions unchanged by this rule, remain in effect. TSA is also requesting comments on added definitions related to imposition of a round-trip limitation. TSA is not soliciting comments with respect to any other issues concerning the 2014 IFR, except to the extent affected by this rule, as the deadline for such comments has expired.
By: Mark Hatfield Jr.
Issued and Served June 3, 2015
This consent order concerns reporting delinquencies by Charter Air Transport, Inc. that constitute violations of 49 USC § 41708 and the accounting and reporting requirements specified in 14 CFR Part 298. This order directs CAT to cease and desist from future violations, and assesses the carrier a compromise civil penalty of $30,000.
CAT is a commuter air carrier and is therefore subject to the reporting requirements of 49 USC § 41708 and 14 CFR Part 298. CAT failed to file BTS Form 298-C “Report of Financial Data” and Schedule T-100 “US Air Carrier Traffic and Capacity Data by Nonstop Segment and On-Flight Market” in a timely manner.
In July 2014, the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings contacted the carrier regarding its non-compliance with the Department’s reporting requirements. CAT promptly filed all required reports and is in compliance with the Department’s reporting requirements.
By: Blane Workie
OST-2015-0070 - Antitrust Immunity for Alliance Agreements
June 1, 2015
Confidentiality Affidavits of Volaris, Holland & Knight and Von Wobeser y Sierra (Antitrust Immunity)
Issued and Served June 3, 2015
By this Order, the US Department of Transportation is requesting proposals from air carriers interested in providing Essential Air Service at Central and/or Circle, Alaska, for a new contract period beginning December 1, 2015, with or without subsidy. Air carriers should file their proposals no later than July 8, 2015.
With specific respect to Central and Circle, air carriers should provide sufficient capacity to accommodate historical levels of traffic. In that regard, as is typically the case in Alaska, significantly more freight and mail flow from the hub to the EAS community than from the EAS community to the hub. We therefore request proposals for five round trips a week with eight-seat aircraft, or more frequencies with smaller aircraft.
By: Todd Homan
May 30, 2015
Grant Aviation, Inc. hereby gives notice of its intent to terminate scheduled service to Perryville, Alaska, effective August 28, 2015.
At the time of this notice Grant Aviation provides scheduled service to Perryville, Alaska. Grant Aviation's service to Perryville consists of 6 flights weekly. Grant Aviation, Inc provides the only scheduled air service to Perryville, Alaska, transporting passengers, cargo and US Mail to this isolated community.
By: Grant Aviation, Bruce McGlasson, 907-529-6999
May 30, 2015
Grant Aviation, Inc. hereby gives notice of its intent to terminate scheduled service to Twin Hills, Alaska, effective August 28, 2015.
At the time of this notice Grant Aviation provides scheduled service to Twin Hills, Alaska. Grant Aviation's service to Twin Hills consists of 6 flights weekly. Grant Aviation, Inc provides the only scheduled air service to Twin Hills, Alaska, transporting passengers, cargo, and US Mail to this isolated community.
By: Grant Aviation, Bruce McGlasson, 907-529-6999
Issued and Served June 3, 2015
By this order, we (1) confirm our oral action of December 16, 2014, making the authority of Gem Air, LLC effective on that date, and (2) reissue Gem Air’s commuter air carrier authorization to reflect its effective date.
We reissue the Commuter Air Carrier Authorization issued to Gem Air, LLC by Order 2014-12-5, in the attached form to reflect its effective date.
By: Todd Homan
The primary casualty of these unfair subsidies and benefits will be the American worker. Airline experts estimate that for every international flight lost by a US carrier, 821 well-paying jobs will disappear. This will not just affect workers directly employed by airlines, but also the many industries that support aviation. What makes this development even more troubling is the atrocious labor standards of the three Gulf airlines in question. Abuses include bans on union membership, an adherence to archaic weight and appearance standards for employees and a ban on LGBT employment. We have already fought against these discriminatory policies - let's not go back to those practices in this day and age.
Please join the 33 thousand members of lAM District Lodge 751 in our commitment to open and healthy competition by supporting Open Skies policy. I urge you to open consultations with the Gulf States in order to address these imbalances.
By: Larry Brown
The carriers in question have flooded six of American's major international hubs with undue capacity, putting thousands of jobs across our system in jeopardy. Their entry into these markets has not created any meaningful passenger demand. Instead, these routes and frequencies simply displace traffic. The Gulf carriers' strategy is simple: siphon off as much business as possible with subsidized fares and postpone profitability until after the American carriers are forced to scale down their networks. With an essentially endless supply of government support, the Gulf carriers can afford to undermine US airlines and their workers for a very long time.
Although conventional wisdom dictates that competition is good for consumers, any benefit our passengers may see from this subsidized capacity will certainly be short-lived. The alluring low fares will soon go away. As soon as they do, passengers will discover that the Gulf carriers have undermined our network such that service to small and medium-sized domestic markets has greatly diminished or been eliminated entirely. Without a robust international operation, there will be less need to feed our US hubs with traffic from smaller markets. As a result, the negative impact these abuses have on jobs will extend far beyond the big city hubs. It is critically important for your departments to take a wide view of this issue and consider both the long-term and downstream effects of this unfair competition.
One of the most apparent examples of this unfair competition is the JFK to Milan route. Emirates operates this route with a Boeing 777 (although it plans to switch to the even larger A380 soon) and offers two-for-one fares. Although the flight continues on to Dubai, it is marketed to New Yorkers as a Milan nonstop. Emirates can only operate this flight because of the unfair benefits it receives from its government owners . Emirates recently announced plans to establish more fifth freedom flights . The company ' s pursuit of this strategy puts flight crews and workers on the ground at JFK and beyond at serious risk.
By: Laura Glading
AA WW expresses no position on whether the Gulf carriers are being unfairly subsidized by their governments. The US government should take seriously the subsidization claims, as it would any concerns raised by US air carriers about foreign competitive constraints. If, after investigation, the US government finds that the claims have merit, it should pursue them on an intergovernmental basis, just like it has pursued similar matters raised by US carriers doing business in Italy, Venezuela, China and Japan. The applicable air services agreements prohibit denying air carriers of the other country a fair opportunity to compete, and they establish consultation procedures to address problems that have been identified. If the US government believes that foreign governmental subsidization is denying US passenger carriers a fair opportunity to compete, it should address the matter through the consultation process. The US government should not take unilateral action before it has let the intergovernmental process follow its course.
We also caution the US government not to rush to judgment on the basis of the information provided to date. The questions of what constitutes subsidization, and what degree of subsidization results in denial of a fair opportunity to compete, are complex ones. Many foreign air carriers have government ownership and receive governmental support; and many governments (including the US) take actions to promote civil aviation in order to advance their national economic and security interests. What the US government decides with respect to the Gulf carriers undoubtedly will have precedential consequences when similar claims are made in the future about other carriers and government-approved carrier arrangements.
Counsel: Russell Pommer, 202-822-9121
Given the impact that these claims pose to US airlines, we respectfully ask for your agencies to consider analyzing this matter and include solicitation of feedback from all stakeholders involved.
JFK and LaGuardia airports are indispensable to economic growth and prosperity in Brooklyn. The distortion caused by unfair competition is not in the best interest of the aviation industry or our local communities.
By: Carlo Scissura
The state--owned Gulf airlines – Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline – have collectively received at least $42 billion in government subsidies and other unfair benefits in violation of US Open Skies policy. These subsidies are contributing to excess capacity, which draws passengers and revenue from U.S. airlines. If these subsidies continue, it will lead to service cuts and ultimately American job losses. According to a white paper released by the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, each route that is lost to Qatar, Etihad or Emirates will result in an average net loss of over 800 good, high--paying US jobs.
The CalAsian Chamber urges the US government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in order to level the playing field. We also hope that the US government will immediately freeze the introduction of new passenger service by the gulf carriers during these consultations.
By: Pat Fong Kushida
The state-owned Gulf airlines – Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline – have collectively received at least $42 billion dollars in government subsidies and other unfair benefits over the last ten years. These subsidies has enabled the Gulf carriers to divert passengers from US airlines, which will reduce the introduction of new routes and could eliminate less profitable routes to smaller cities. Additionally, these subsidies have distorted capacity leading to an unbalanced marketplace – this will threaten thousands of high-paying American jobs.
The California Black Chamber of Commerce is asking that the US government open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in order to address this serious issue. We urge the US government to immediately freeze the introduction of new passenger service by the gulf carriers during these consultations. The state of California and our members can’t afford to be negatively impacted by unfair airline competition with Gulf carriers.
By: Aubry Stone
To be clear, the CalChamber firmly supports Open Skies and recognizes the considerable benefits that the policy has brought to US travelers and the US economy. We are not seeking to end the agreements with Qatar and the UAE, nor are we raising concerns with regard to any of the more than one hundred other Open Skies agreements. The CalChamber is requesting consultations, which are provided for within the Open Skies agreements themselves.
The tens of billions of dollars in subsidies are distorting the free market framework established by Open Skies and they will ultimately have a negative economic impact here in the United States if we allow them to continue. The heavily subsidized competition by the Gulf carriers is contributing to excess capacity, which draws passengers and revenue from US airlines. If US-based airlines continue to lose market share, it will lead to service cuts and ultimately American job losses. In fact, according to a white paper released by the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, each route that is lost to Qatar, Etihad or Emirates will result in an average net loss of 821 good US jobs. These are jobs that we cannot afford to lose and they should not be lost as a result of unfair competition from foreign carriers.
By: Allan Zaremberg
This issue is not a matter of US airlines needing to do more to compete and offer better services. I feel confident that US airlines can compete with any airline in the world as long as they are competing under the same terms and by the same set of rules. It is the US government's responsibility to ensure that is the case, and says as much in the Open Skies policy.
I am asking you, on behalf of my constituents employed by US carriers based at SFO, to do all that you can to ensure that the Open Skies policy is being followed and urge you to freeze new passenger service by Gulf carriers until this issue is resolved.
By: Jerry Hill
The Cargo Airline Association and its member airlines, take seriously any charges of unfair competitive practices and believe that all such allegations, including those highlighted above, should be thoroughly evaluated by the Government. At the same time, the examination of any such charges must take place within the framework of each applicable Open Skies agreement. The United States must not take any unilateral action (such as an immediate freeze of competitive opportunities or any limitation of Fifth Freedom rights) that is not within the scope of these agreements.
The Association urges the United States Government to move cautiously in evaluating the allegations made against the carriers of the Gulf States region. In determining whether to request consultations under the terms of the applicable international agreements, the United States should not only determine whether subsidization has taken place, but also whether such subsidization is any different from assistance given by governments around the world, including the United States. Furthermore, the United States should determine whether any such foreign government assistance has actually damaged US interests. Absent any such findings, no consultations are appropriate and the terms of each Open Skies agreement at issue should remain intact.
By: Stephen Alterman, 202-293-1030
April 30, 2015
Over the past 10 years, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline have received at least $42 billion in government subsidies and other unfair benefits in violation of U.S. Open Skies policy. Citizen Action is asking that the U.S. government open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to address the huge subsidies that those nations provide their state-owned airlines. We also believe the U.S. government should seek a freeze on the introduction of new passenger service by the Gulf carriers during these consultations
The US airlines have been excellent partners to us in the upper Midwest. The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport is served by Delta and others who provide an invaluable service bringing many individuals to our Brainerd Lakes area; a major tourist destination. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is home to a major Delta hub that serves as the major airport for six neighboring states.
I honestly believe that the US airlines and the 11 million workers deserve an opportunity to compete on a level playing field with others in the marketplace. Everyone should be able to compete in that marketplace. I hope you'll agree with me that there needs to be fair competition without a few airlines receiving such a huge subsidized economic advantage.
We need to bring the governments of Qatar and UAE back to the table to address the significant subsidies that are distorting the current market. We need your assistance to help give our US carriers the fairness they deserve to compete with any other airline in the world.
By: Mayor James Wallin
If nothing is done, US airlines will be pushed off of international routes and lose market share to the government-owned Gulf airlines, it will result in American job losses and service cuts. Every international roundtrip flight that disappears results in an average net loss of 821 good US jobs – think of all the pilots, flight attendants, maintenance workers, baggage crew, ticketing agents, and others that are involved in a single overseas route. They and others whose livelihoods depend on a healthy US airline industry are the people who have the most to lose if this issue is not addressed.
Because these Gulf carriers are highly subsidized they have grown at astounding rates, rapidly expanding their fleets and routes, untethered to commercial realities (such as profits and a living wage.) If we stand by and allow these questionable practices to continue, the service to small and mid-sized communities like ours will suffer as our domestic airlines are forced to curtail flights.
US Open Skies policy has served the citizens of the City of Hallandale Beach well. Please help to keep all Open Skies agreements truly open, and fair, by addressing the enormous government subsidies that are being provided to these three carriers and seeking a freeze on additional service until these subsidies are addressed.
By: Mayor Joy Cooper
As the home to one of the country's ten busiest airports, the City of Houston holds significant interest in ensuring that US airlines — indeed, all air carriers — are provided a fair and level playing field to compete for routes. It creates healthy competition in the marketplace, producing more choices and lower fares for passengers.
However, it has been brought to my attention that a small group of state-owned airlines in the Arabian Gulf are alleged to be receiving substantial subsidies from their governments and are therefore violating the longtime Open Skies policy designed to foster healthy competition.
I respectfully request the federal government investigate these allegations, and, if proven to be true, take appropriate action by opening a dialogue with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to address such subsidies.
By: Mayor Annise Parker
The governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have granted over $40 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits to their airline earners - Emirates Airline, Et1had Airways and Qatar Airways - over the past decade. This has enabled these airlines to expand rapidly, purchase new planes and add countless new routes. This highly concerning considering Humble, TX is only 10 minutes away from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport that has nonstop flights to 122 destinations in the US and nearly 70 international destinations.
IAH not only connects businesses and resident with goods and services around the globe, but many in our area work at the airport or have businesses that are reliant on the airport and its earners. Civic and business leaders in our community have utilized our close proximity to the airport to lure businesses to our area and spur economic growth and Job creation. So, there is no doubt that the 15,000 residents of Humble have a vested interest in ensuring that IAH and the major US carriers, like United Airlines, remain healthy and vibrant.
Please open consultations with the UAE and Qatar to address this situation and put a freeze on the introduction of new routes by the Gulf carriers while the consultations move forward.
By: Mayor Merle Aaron
At the regular meeting of the Romulus City Council of Romulus, Michigan held at Romulus City Hall on Monday, April 13, 2015, the following resolution was offered by Councilwoman Makowski, seconded by Councilman Crout:
By: Ellen Craig-Bragg
Over the past decade, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – both signatories to Open Skies agreements, which liberalized access to US and international markets, while also mandating free and fair competition between airlines – have funneled at least $42 billion into their state-owned airlines. This unprecedented level of financial support, coming in the form of interest-free loans, massive subsidies, land grants and other unfair benefits, was given in direct violation of the bilateral Open Skies agreements signed between the US and the two Gulf States.
This situation cannot and should not continue. Open Skies agreements contain a provision that allows either party to open consultations with the other to address any problems that could arise, and the US should exercise this right. In addition to opening negotiations, the Federal government should also seek a freeze on the expansion of new capacity from the Gulf carriers while these consultations go forward.
By: Mayor Jeri Muoio
The Conference of Western Wayne supports Delta
Air Lines in urging the U.S. Government to request consultations through the existing Open
Skies agreements with Qatar and the UAE to address the unfair, subsidized competition, and
also to seek a freeze on the introduction of new passenger service by the Gulf carriers during
For ten years, these three foreign airlines have received massive subsidies from their respective governments. These enormous subsidies are a violation of US Open Skies policy and they allow Gulf carriers to undercut competitors' prices on key international routes. This means US carriers like American, Delta and United lose market share. Each route given up by a US Carrier on an International flight results in nearly 800 U.S. Aviation jobs lost. The loss of International flying will also have an impact on the domestic operations at large international gateway cities. Furthermore, American carriers will be forced to cut domestic flights and local travel, that so many American families depend on.
With the help of nearly $40 billion in government subsidies these Middle East carriers are tipping the scales in their favor - and we are the ones losing out. In fact, each international round-trip flight that is lost or forgone because of this unfair imbalance results in the average loss of eight hundred American jobs - many of them hard-working union jobs. Further, by limiting their employees' rights to collectively bargain, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates receive what amounts to a $3.1 billion subsidies in below market labor costs.
Therefore, we urge you take action to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE to address the questionable financial practices and harmful policies that undercut US companies and workers.
By: CWA Unified Council of Michigan
A violation of the existing Open Skies agreement would invite retaliation or renunciation of their agreement by the UAE. In either case, as the US airline with the most flights to and from the UAE, we believe that we would potentially be subject to the greatest harm. FedEx strongly urges the US not to take this or any other action on a unilateral basis.
FedEx has been told repeatedly by representatives of the Big 3 that "cargo won't be affected." However, we believe that the risk is real, especially if the US were to proceed with the freeze on new flights. As noted above, that would clearly be a breach of the agreement. Once an Open Skies agreement is put in play, all provisions are open to becoming possible bases of retaliation. Or, the agreement could be renounced, which is an all-or-nothing procedure. In either case, stated above, we believe that we would be caught in the middle as the largest beneficiary of the openness for the US side. We just don't see how we could be kept out of the potential cross-fire, even if it was not the intent of the Big 3 to involve us.
Finally, looking beyond the situation with the Gulf Carriers, an open and flagrant violation of an Open Skies agreement by the US would undermine the entire US policy efforts to advance aviation liberalization. If unhappy, existing Open Sldes partners would no longer feel the need to comply with the agreements now in place. Those countries considering a new Open Skies agreement would suddenly feel the cold wind of US protectionism chilling their intentions. FedEx believes that a breach of these agreements would affect the entire US aviation industry, including the Big 3, and we urge the Secretaries not to proceed in that way.
Counsel: FedEx, Courtney Felts, 901-434-8632
May 17, 2015
For five years, my company has had to compete with many other tour providers in the Hollywood area. It is not right for big businesses to ask the U.S. government for help when they can't compete. If small businesses have to find a way to make it, then the big airlines, which have access to much greater financial resources, should also have to find a way to improve their services and offer more competitive rates. The U.S. government should protect the needs of its citizens rather than big businesses. For consumers, the best option is when competition is free and open.
By: Philip Mershon
May 18, 2015
By: Ed Emmett
The unfair subsidization of the Gulf carriers has enabled them to add new routes that have not increased passenger traffic, but instead have shifted traffic from US carriers, taking good American jobs overseas. As a matter of fact, for every new, international flight the US carriers lose, there is a net loss of over 800 jobs.
While we support the Open Skies policy, we are opposed to an uneven playing field, where one side has an unfair advantage over the other. For this reason we are respectfully asking the US government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in an effort to bring the core objective of the Open Skies agreement back in line: fair, market-based competition.
By: George Miranda
US Open Skies policy is predicated on a level playing field. The subsides such as interest free loans, equity infusions, and passenger fee exemptions, to name a few, undermine fair competition and will result in a significant shift in market share to the Gulf carriers' advantage.
Rather than fuel economic activity and growth, the routes that Gulf carriers operate to the US have not meaningfully increased passenger traffic. This threatens the US airline industry, high-paying aviation jobs, and communities throughout the United States. It is estimated that every flight lost or forgone by a US carrier because of Gulf subsides will result in a net loss of more than 800 US jobs.
I urge the US government to request consultations about Gulf airline subsidization through the existing Open Skies agreements to ensure fair and equal competition. The US government should also immediately freeze the introduction of new passenger service by the Gulf carriers during these consultations.
By: Dow Constantine
The Lansing region depends on a healthy airline industry. The Capital Region International Airport is one of the region's major transportation hubs and contributes $1 billion annually to the local economy. The unfair benefits the Gulf carriers have been receiving have enabled them to expand rapidly, adding new routes and preventing the US carriers from doing the same. As a result, good, airline jobs are being shipped overseas and Americans are losing out on opportunities. For every international roundtrip flight lost by a US airline, there is a net loss of 821 US jobs.
As President and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, I am respectfully requesting that you aid in initiating consultations with Qatar and the UAE. Michiganders cannot afford to lose out on job opportunities because of the unfair business practices of Qatar and the UAE.
By: Tim Daman
We firmly support Open Skies and recognize the considerable benefits that the policy has brought to US travelers and the US economy. We are not seeking to end the agreements with Qatar and the UAE. We are simply requesting the consultations which are provided for within the Open Skies agreements.
Concerns have been raised that subsidized competition by the Gulf carriers is contributing to excess capacity and lower fares which draw passengers and revenue from US airlines.
In response to these concerns, some have stated that American, Delta and United must simply do more to compete and offer better services. As someone who is familiar with these airlines and their services in our region, I know that they are prepared to compete with other airlines in the world as long as they are competing on an equal playing field.
As provided for in the Open Skies policy, we are asking you to open consultations on this issue as requested by the US carriers.
By: Gary Toebben
The actions of Qatar and the UAE not only stunt economic growth in Michigan and across the United States, they are also in violation of the Open Skies policies in place between the three countries. If they are allowed to continue, American jobs, the American airline industry and American communities are threatened. That is why I am respectfully asking that you intervene and ask that Secretary Foxx and Secretary Kerry my request is that you open consultations with Qatar and the UAE as a measure to restore fair, market-based competition.
By: Richard Studley
If Delta and the other major US carriers are forced to cut back on international routes due to the unfair competition, cities with major airports like Detroit and throughout Michigan will feel the pain. As US airlines are then forced to also trim domestic routes, the pain will spread to cities and towns with small and mid-sized airports. Given that every daily international roundtrip flight lost by US airlines equates to more than 800 US jobs lost, we know that the pain would be severe. Delta and its regional carrier Delta Connection employ 10,000 people statewide in Michigan. We want that number to rise, not drop, in the years to come but the Gulf carriers' rapid, subsidy-fueled expansion into the US market - an expansion that is not creating any new passenger demand or stimulating US tourism - is threatening airline industry jobs here in Michigan and across the US.
The Open Skies agreements that Qatar and the UAE signed with us give you the right to call for consultations and hold off on any new routes from their airlines. On behalf of those we represent, we ask the Administration exercise that right and address the Gulf airlines' massive and unfair subsidies.
By: Arlan Meekhoft, Kevin Cotter, Jim Ananich, Tim Greimel
Capital Region International Airport is a $1 billion regional asset and an economic engine for our region for the jobs it has created, the people it has employed, and passengers who use the airport as a critical hub for their travel.
Open Skies promotes strong air service which creates jobs and has been essential in helping us attract, retain and grow businesses in the area. Further, it has been an important factor for expanding airline access at Capital Region International Airport for business and personal travel.
It is imperative that the US open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates regarding the subsidies and other benefits these state-owned airlines are receiving. As you well know, the strength of America’s economy and the US airlines industry depends on a fair and competitive playing field. More so, businesses in the mid-Michigan region cannot survive another economic downturn. Simply, the current situation puts us at an economic disadvantage and the Mid-Michigan Business Travel Coalition urges you to put Open Skies on the front burner for the sake of saving Michigan jobs.
By: Jim Robinson
If this issue of unfair competition is not addressed, Delta's hub in Minnesota, and other airline hubs across the country, could be significantly impacted. US carriers may be forced to reduce or term inate their own services on international routes, or forego entry on routes they would otherwise have entered . In addition, the loss of international routes has the potential to reduce passenger flow on domestic routes putting those routes in jeopardy as well. Any of these actions would have a significantly negative impact on the State of Minnesota.
Open Skies agreements only work if all of the parties are playing by the same rules. Please help to keep all Open Skies agreements open and fair by addressing the subsidies that are being unfairly provided to these three carriers.
By: William Blazar
May 15, 2015
Over the past decade, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline have received at least $42
The tens of billions of dollars in subsidies are distorting the free market framework established by Open Skies and they will ultimately have a negative economic impact here in the United States if we allow them to continue. The uneven playing field created by these massive subsidies is forcing US carriers like Delta, United and American Airlines out of an increasing number of international routes which, if allowed to continue, will lead the disappearance of thousands of American jobs. In fact, according to a white paper released by the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, each route that is lost to Qatar, Etihad or Emirates will result in an average net loss of 821 good US jobs. These are jobs that we can ill afford to lose and they should not be lost as a result of unfair competition from foreign carriers.
I am not seeking to end the Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the UAE, nor am I raising concerns with regard to any of the more than one hundred other Open Skies agreements. I am simply requesting that the US government open consultations with Qatar and the UAE, which are provided for within the Open Skies agreements themselves and hold off on the addition of new routes.
By: Chip Hallock
May 27, 2015
Open Skies agreements will never be able to fully resolve unfairness, but they don’t have to. The US3 will continue to be successful, will probably continue to dominate the market, even with the Open Skies agreements with the ME3 untouched. It will be up to the US3 whether or not to build routes to key parts of Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Northern Africa, and other destinations where the ME3 thrives. They have chosen not to do so in the past for reasons unrelated to the ME3’s success and may hold strong to that choice.
By: Ben Schlappig
As a Vietnamese American, I travel frequently to Southeast Asia. Both for business and for pleasure, I have spent a significant amount of time in the region. The routes opened by Etihad and Emirates Airways from San Francisco International have benefited me greatly. These carriers offer impeccable service at reasonable prices. They have also made destinations in Southeast Asia more accessible. For many years, there were limited routes to Asia, often at very high premiums for direct or short layover flights. This factor is especially important for myself and for my mother who travels back to Vietnam several times a year. Shaving many hours off the total travel time eases the trip and lets us make the most of the limited time we have available to visit with family and explore our intended destination.
I expect that many other Californians share my opinion. This state is home to many vibrant Asian communities, members of which work hard to maintain ties to extended family, to send the next generation overseas to experience and understand their culture, and to develop cross--border business relationships. These activities are good for America’s diversity, cultural heritage, economy, and international standing.
The US should promote competitive air travel, not roll back a policy that has helped connect San Francisco and the rest of the US to the world. The more carrier options we have as travelers will increase the quality of flight experiences with increased competition, decrease the price of flying and will employ thousands of people around the world, and particularly in the US. Please take action to protect Open Skies.
By: Nancy Bui-Thompson
Decades ago, Texans had the foresight to invest in building the infrastructure necessary to sustain a highly successful Aerospace and Aviation Industry. Today, that industry directly employs more than 150,000 of our residents and plays a significant role in the state's economy, particularly in North Texas and the Gulf Coast.
As the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, I have a keen interest in making sure Texas is a place where businesses can continue to thrive and contribute to the nation's economy. Consequently, you can imagine my concern when I learned of our US carriers being disadvantaged in the international marketplace by benefits being bestowed upon the state-owned airlines of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
I am calling on you today to take action to remedy this inequitable and unsustainable situation. Specifically, I am asking that the Obama Administration request that Qatar and UAE open discussions over their Open Skies agreements and cease their subsidies without delay.
It's time to ensure US Open Skies agreements are doing the job they were created to do - provide a level playing field to allow competition to flourish. I'm hopeful you agree and look forward to the US government taking action to remedy the market-distorting subsidies provided by Qatar and UAE to their airlines.
By: Glenn Hegar
I am writing to urge you to take action against the market-distorting practices of the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates that are in direct violation ofthe Open Skies agreements these nations entered into with the United States. We must address this issue and open consultations with the Gulf States to restore fair competition to our skies.
Open Skies agreements have benefitted Texas and the US economy overall, which is why we should commit to restoring fair competition in the airline industry. Please initiate consultations with Qatar and the UAE on this matter and request a freeze on new capacity from the Gulf carriers to the US while the consultations go forward.
By: Cecil Bell, Jr.
I am writing to urge you to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who are heavily subsidizing three of their air carriers-Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline. In doing this, the Middle Eastern countries are undermining Open Skies policy and creating an un-level playing field that has led to marketplace distortion.
Please stand up against the unfair business practices of Qatar and the UAE and open consultations with Qatar and the UAE, and put a freeze on new capacity from these airlines while the consultations are ongoing. We can no longer justify allowing them to disregard Open Skies policy and fair competition.
By: Debbie Riddle
For a place like Traverse City, with tourism as one of our primary economic engines, the impact will be multi-fold. There will be a loss of jobs directly associated with the airline industry as well as the robust ecosystem that serves the industry. Eventually air fares could increase, resulting in a reduction in travel for business and families. In addition, regional routes that bring travelers into Traverse City will become scarce as US carriers are forced to cut routes and these Gulf carriers have no interest in flying to Traverse City. There is no doubt that we will feel the economic impact of those decisions.
By: Laura Oblinger
OST-2015-0114 - Exemption - US-Anguilla/Dominica/British Virgin Islands Codesharing with Seaborne Airlines
May 29, 2015
Please be advised we have polled and received non-objections from each of the US carriers on the attached service list for the above-referenced application of JetBlue Airways Corporation. JetBlue respectfully requests the Department take prompt action on its application so that marketing of its service can begin as soon as possible.
Counsel: Eckert Seamans, Evelyn Sahr, 202-659-6600
Issued and Served June 3, 2015
By this order, we tentatively conclude that Menagerie Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Monarch Air is a citizen of the United States and is fit, willing and able to conduct scheduled passenger operations as a commuter air carrier.
Monarch is organized as a corporation under the laws of the State of Texas. The company is wholly-owned by Mr. Raymond Sawtelle, Jr., a US citizen. Monarch’s key personnel are US citizens and the company has provided an affidavit attesting that it is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of the Statute. Finally, there is no other information before us that would lead us to conclude that Monarch is not controlled by US citizens.
We direct any interested persons having objections to the issuance of an order making final any of the proposed findings, conclusions, or award of authority set forth here to file such objections with the US Department of Transportation Dockets.
By: Susan Kurland
OST-1995-272 - Enforcement Proceeding
May 29, 2015
The Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, pursuant to Your Honor's March 22, 2006, Order staying this proceeding, files this report detailing the current status of this proceeding and settlement negotiations.
The Department has not ruled on the outstanding motions filed by Respondents and opposed by the Enforcement Office in Ascend Aviation Group, Docket OST-2004-17486.
There have been no further settlement discussions.
By: Blane Workie
OST-2014-0196 - Frequency Allocation - San Francisco-Shanghai
June 3, 2015
United requests an additional 60-day start-up extension, from July 15, 2015 to September 13, 2015, to begin operating its second daily nonstop flight between San Francisco and Shanghai, China, as well as an amendment of United's frequency award in this docket that would give United the flexibility to use the frequencies on an interim basis for service to/from Guam if the Chinese government requires , immediate use of a slot award sooner than United could reasonably be expected to launch long haul service to/from San Francisco.
On March 23, 2015, the Department granted United's unopposed motion for a 60-day start-up extension, from May 16, 2015 to July 15, 2015, to allow United additional time to coordinate with local Chinese government officials and airport authorities to secure slot times at Shanghai that are workable for United's San Francisco service. But while United continues to pursue diligently slot times at Shanghai that would support its desired operations and hopes these efforts will ultimately prove successful, United requires additional time beyond the Department's current start-up conditions to resolve this issue.
Additionally, United requests an amendment of its frequency award in this docket that would allow it to operate the frequencies between Guam and Shanghai should the Chinese Government allocate slots that require United to begin service on a timeline that is too restrictive for United to have all of the necessary infrastructure and advanced ticket sales in place to start service to/from San Francisco in a coordinated and economically viable fashion. United remains committed to providing twice-daily San Francisco-Shanghai service and has firm plans to do so. But United also concedes that, for myriad reasons beyond its control, there is no guarantee that the Shanghai slot times to be assigned to United will be operationally workable for San Francisco service in the near term. In light of this uncertainty, United seeks to maximize the use of its valuable U.S.-China frequencies to meet consumer demand in the Guam-Shanghai market during this interim period. United would operate this augmented Guam-Shanghai service until such time as United has the necessary infrastructure and ticket sales in place to launch service to/from San Francisco.
There would be no operational overlap between these Guam- and San Francisco-Shanghai services - as United would not exceed the limits of the frequency award in this docket. Consistent with United's frequency award, however, United may operate some or all of this interim Guam-Shanghai service on a seasonal basis
Counsel: United, Thomas Bolling, 872-825-8068 / Crowell & Moring, Gerald Murphy, 202-624-2500
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