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OST-2007-0006 - US-Colombia Frequency Allocation Proceeding


OST-2000-7655 - US-Colombia Combination Service Proceeding
OST-2001-8910 - US-Colombia Scheduled Combination Service Opportunities


OST-2007-28057 - Spirit Air - Ft. Lauderdale-Bogota
OST-2007-29367 - Delta - US-Colombia
OST-2007-0017 - jetBlue - US-Colombia

OST-2008-0239 - Spirit - Allocation of Seven US-Colombia Frequencies Returned by Continental Airlines
OST-2008-0258 - American - Allocation for Seven Weekly Miami-Bogota Frequencies

OST-2009-0255 - American Airlines - Allocation of Seven Weekly US-Colombia Combination Frequencies (JFK-Bogota)


US-Colombia Combination Frequency Allocation Proceeding

Order 2007-11-23
OST-2007-0006

Issued and Served November 26, 2007

Order Instituting Proceeding and Inviting Applications

We have decided to institute the 2007/2008 U.S.-Colombia Combination Frequency Allocation Proceeding to allocate U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies as follows:

  • Seven frequencies available effective December 1, 2007
  • Seven frequencies available effective April 1, 2008
  • Seven frequencies available effective October 1, 2008

The proceeding will also consider whether American should retain seven of its currently allocated weekly U.S.-Colombia frequencies, and, if not, to which carrier they should be allocated. While American need not file an application for exemption or certificate authority, it nevertheless must conform to the other evidentiary requirements of the proceeding with respect to its proposed use of the seven frequencies. American should use the supplement, answer, and reply portions of the procedural schedule to support retaining the seven frequencies.

We have received an application from Delta, JetBlue, and Spirit, in which each carrier seeks authority to provide service in the U.S.-Colombia market and for the allocation of frequencies to provide such service. We will consolidate the applications of Delta (OST-2007-29367), JetBlue (OST-2007-0017), and Spirit (OST-2007-28057), as well as all other responsive pleadings in those Dockets, into this proceeding (OST-2007-0006). Delta, JetBlue, and Spirit may supplement or amend their existing applications by the date specified in this Order for new applications. We also invite other interested U.S. carriers to file applications for certificate or exemption authority to serve the U.S.-Colombia market, and for allocation of combination frequencies.

In this proceeding, it will not be necessary to determine whether the public interest requires granting the available U.S.-Colombia authority. As shown, the public interest clearly calls for use of these rights. Our principal objective will be to maximize public benefits that will result from award of the authority in this case. In this regard, we will consider which applicant will most likely offer and maintain service that best meets the needs of the traveling and shipping public.

We are establishing the following procedural schedule for submissions:

Petitions for Reconsideration December 3, 2007
Answers to Petitions December 6, 2007
New Applications/Supplements December 6, 2007
Answers December 13, 2007
Replies December 18, 2007

By: Andrew Steinberg



December 3, 2007

Petition of American Airlines for Reconsideration of Order 2007-11-23

The Department's decision to strip American of its frequencies is apparently based on the patently invalid premise that American should have been prescient in May in foreseeing that Barranqilla would become an open skies city in late September. See Order 2007-11-23, p. 3 ("[w]e put American under a strict requirement to report its progress in using the frequencies as proposed, emphasis added). However, "neither the law nor common sense can demand clairvoyance,", and there can be no dispute that "it is impossible to divine the future,"  Of course, had we been able to predict the future, we would have proposed in May to assign seven of our frequencies to U.S.-Colombia routes other than Barranqilla, as we announced on October 11, and the Department would lack any pretext to take these frequencies away.

There is no proper basis for the Department "to weigh whether the public interest would be better served by letting American use those frequencies in the Miami‑Bogota and Miami-Medellin markets or allocating them to other applicants. The Department cannot simply reach in and take frequencies away from a duly authorized carrier because it wishes to evaluate whether that carrier's choice of routes using frequencies that are not city-pair specific would serve "the public interest" when considered with applications by other carriers.

The Department's decision to place American's frequencies in issue for re-allocation is fundamentally unfair and violates American's right to due process. It has long been established that certificated carriers should enjoy "security of route" and that their operating authorizations are protected from summary revocation.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647, carl.nelson@aa.com



December 6, 2007

Response of American Airlines to Evidence Request - Bookmarked

American Airlines, Inc. hereby responds to the evidence request appended to Order 2007-11-23, November 26, 2007, with respect to American's seven U.S.-Colombia frequencies that the Department has improperly confiscated and placed in issue. By responding to the evidence request, American does not concede the legitimacy of the Department's action regarding these seven frequencies, and we hereby incorporate by reference the petition for reconsideration we submitted on December 3, 2007, challenging the Department's decision to seize American's duly allocated frequencies. That decision is contrary to precedent, is fundamentally unfair, is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, and should be vacated forthwith.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647, carl.nelson@aa.com


December 6, 2007

Answer of Continental Airlines to Petition for Reconsideration

Given the strong interest of other airlines, including Continental, in providing Colombia service in markets where frequency allocations are required, it is clear that there are not enough frequencies available to meet the demand for them. Under the unique circumstances presented by this proceeding, comparing the public benefits of allowing American to use seven frequencies on a route other than the one proposed when it was allowed to retain those unused frequencies with the potential public benefits of other uses for the same frequencies is clearly appropriate. Authorizing Continental to offer the first U.S.-flag overnight Colombia service and to expand service between Bogota and both Houston and points throughout Continental's Houston route network will offer far more public benefits than adding seven more Miami-Colombia flights operated by the dominant carrier at the dominant gateway.

Counsel: Crowell & Moring, Bruce Keiner, 202-624-2615


December 6, 2007

Application of Continental Airlines - Bookmarked

Continental applies for allocation of seven weekly U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies to institute a second daily nonstop Houston-Bogota B-737 service utilizing additional frequencies that become available on April 1 (Continental's preference) or October 1, 2008.

Continental's first priority and preference is for the award of seven of the frequencies available April 1, 2008 and, failing that, the award of seven of the frequencies available October 1, 2008. Continental will accept a condition requiring institution of service within 90 days of the Department's final decision in this proceeding or the date the frequencies become available, whichever is later. Continental would accept a partial award of a minimum of four frequencies subject to the same start-up conditions and would also accept back-up authority.

Counsel: Crowell & Moring, Bruce Keiner, 202-624-2615


December 6, 2007

Answer of Delta Air Lines to Petition for Reconsideration - Bookmarked

American would like the Department to ignore the fact that it has failed to use the 7 frequencies in issue here for over two years. That lack of use gave rise to the appropriate exercise of the Department's authority to examine the public interest in allocating those frequencies to other airlines. The Department correctly put the 7 American frequencies in issue for reallocation in light of American's past failure to use them at all and its failure to use them consistent with the Department's conditions. It should therefore deny American's Petition for Reconsideration.

Counsel: Hogan & Hartson, Robert Cohn, 202-637-4999, recohn@hhlaw.com


December 6, 2007

Supplement No. 1 and Amendment to Application of Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines, Inc. hereby supplements and amends its application to seek certificate authority and frequencies to serve the following U.S.-Colombia routes, pursuant to DOT Order 2007-11-23:

  1. between New York, New York, and Bogota, Colombia, with 7 weekly frequencies;
  2. between Atlanta, Georgia, and Medellin, Colombia, with 4 weekly frequencies; and
  3. between Atlanta, Georgia, and Cali, Colombia, with 3 weekly frequencies.

Delta's application requested exemption authority and frequencies to serve New York-Bogota (7 frequencies), Atlanta-Medellin (4 frequencies), and Atlanta-Cali (3 frequencies). Delta hereby amends that request in order to request certificate authority.

Delta's service proposals easily surpass American's revised service plans in terms of public benefits by any relevant measure, e.g., inter-carrier competition, inter-gateway competition, and market structure. American is, by far, the largest U.S. carrier for Colombia services with 42 weekly frequencies (35 after the 7 in issue in this case are reallocated). It already provides 2 or 3 Miami-Bogota flights each day (depending on the day of the week), as well as 2 daily Miami-Medellin flights, such that its proposed duplicative service in each of these markets using the 7 frequencies would add no significant service benefits and zero competitive benefits. To the contrary, it would simply further entrench the dominant incumbent U.S. carrier to the detriment of competition and a competitive market structure. Although an award to Delta of 14 frequencies would inject much needed competition against American, even after such an award, American will still have an enormous frequency advantage over Delta.

Counsel: Hogan & Hartson, Robert Cohn, 202-637-4999, recohn@hhlaw.com


December 6, 2007

Answer of jetBlue Airways

American should not be afforded special treatment merely because it previously held these seven frequencies. As the Department stated in its Order, "[o]ur principal objective will be to maximize public benefits that will result from award of the authority in this case." This objective is best met by including American's seven frequencies in a proceeding involving all carriers, which the Department has properly instituted. Such a proceeding permits the Department to consider the interests of all carriers in making an informed allocation decision, and the Department's Order should be not be reconsidered. Accordingly, American's petition for reconsideration should be denied.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


December 6, 2007

Supplemental Application of jetBlue Airways for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessitiy - Bookmarked

JetBlue plans to inaugurate daily nonstop service from Orlando, Florida to Bogota beginning on April 1, 2008, and daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Bogota, beginning on October 1, 2008. Flights from Orlando will originate in New York (JFK) and flights from Fort Lauderdale will originate at Washington, Dulles International Airport (lAD). This information supplements JetBlue' s original application and seeks the same gateway authority, with the sole change of one behind‑gateway city for JetBlue's proposed U.S.‑Colombia route.

JetBlue' s proposed service would provide the first low-fare service to Bogota. Currently, American Airlines, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. provide service to Colombia. In addition, Spirit Airlines holds exemption authority to fly to Cartagena, Colombia, but has not yet instituted service. See Notice of Action Taken, on November 20, 2007 (Docket OST-2007-0075). None provide low-fare service to Bogota. JetBlue's award-winning low-fare service would provide important new benefits to consumers traveling between Florida and Bogota, as well as low-fare benefits for consumers traveling from JFK, lAD and other points beyond Florida.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


December 6, 2007

Answer of Spirit Airlines to Petition for Reconsideration - Bookmarked

American’s frivolous petition to give it perpetual rights to the seven Colombia frequencies put in issue by the Order must be rejected. Spirit admirers the Department commitment to establishing a competitive environment for service to Colombia and recognizes American’s effort to hoodwink the Department into allowing it to retain these frequencies. The Department’s decision to request applications to reallocate these frequencies is completely consistent with prior Department precedent. Further, given the current market structure, coupled with American’s cavalier and monopolistic handling of these highly valuable rights for years, reallocation is compelled by the public interest standards set forth by Congressional directives and compelled to maximize benefits to consumers.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


December 6, 2007

Supplemental Application of Spirit Airlines for an Exemption and A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

In this proceeding, the Department has a unique opportunity to remedy the great cost paid by passengers and to the public interest over the years of American’s hegemonic domination of the U.S. – Colombia market. The policy and market benefits of new competition, however, will not be maximized if the Department spreads the few available frequencies among multiple carriers. Spirit’s demonstrated commitment to the Caribbean and Latin American regions, and its proven ultra low cost model – more than any other self-described low fare carriers, all of which have substantially higher average fares than Spirit in the Caribbean and Latin American regions – make Spirit the only logical choice to assure lasting competitive benefits in this important market.

Spirit requests 14 frequencies to serve Bogotá, and 14 to serve Medellín. Seven frequencies will be effective on December 1, 2007, and Spirit anticipates using these frequencies to serve Bogotá with first time low fares as soon as possible, but not later than 60 days after an award of these frequencies.4 Assuming reallocation of the seven frequencies still held by American, the next 14 frequencies will be effective April 1, 2008, and Spirit would commence service at that time with seven for Medellín and seven for Bogotá. The remaining seven frequencies would be used for Medellín, effective October 1, 2008. By October 1, 2008, Spirit would be operating double daily service in both markets. Significantly, Spirit would operate all frequencies on a year-round basis.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


December 6, 2007

Application of US Airways for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, Exemption and Frequency Allocation - Bookmarked

Re: Revised Page Nine to Application

US Airways, Inc. requests that the Department grant it an exemption and certificate of public convenience and necessity permitting US Airways to engage in the scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail between Charlotte, North Carolina, on the one hand, and Bogota, Colombia, on the other hand, via intermediate points, and beyond Colombia to points in the Western Hemisphere. US Airways requests further that the Department award to US Airways seven combination frequencies, and an associated designation, for US Airways’ use in operating daily scheduled service between Charlotte and Bogota, beginning October 1, 2008. US Airways is the only carrier that can effectively challenge the incumbent carriers in the U.S.-Bogota market.

Service will be operated year-round utilizing Airbus A319 aircraft seating 124 passengers in two classes of service. As consumer demand increases, US Airways will introduce B757-200 two-class service to replace or supplement its A319 service, significantly increasing available seats. In the near term, B757-200 service will be operated during periods of peak demand, such as during holiday periods and high traffic seasons.

Counsel: Squire Sanders, Charles Donley, 202-626-6600, cdonley@ssd.com



December 7, 2007

Re: Corrected Exhibit of jetBlue Airways

The corrected Exhibit 1 replaces in its entirety the Exhibit 1 of the Supplemental Application, and includes seat configuration and available cargo capacity that were inadvertently omitted from the Supplemental Application filed on December 6.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Lynn Deavers, 202-776-7408, ldeavers@dowlohnes.com



Letters in Support of US Airways:




December 13, 2007

Answer of American Airlines - Bookmarked

None of the proposals by other applicants in this case should have priority over American's retention of its seven weekly U.S.-Colombia frequencies that the Department has improperly placed in issue.

American's full pattern of nonstop service between Miami and Bogota (three trips a day) and between Miami and Medellin (twice a day) should be preserved by an order on reconsideration taking American's frequencies off the table. If the Department does not do so, this case should conclude by re-awarding to American the seven frequencies it already holds and is currently operating in the Miami-Bogota and Miami-Medellin markets.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647, carl.nelson@aa.com


December 13, 2007

Answer of The City of Charlotte - Bookmarked

The City of Charlotte would prefer that the U.S.-Colombia market were open, and that the Department would not have to make hard choices among competing proposals. However, given the reality of limited new opportunities, the City of Charlotte believes that the choice should be clear and that US Airways should be selected to provide first-ever nonstop service between Charlotte and Bogota. Accordingly, the City of Charlotte respectfully urges the Department to grant US Airways the authority it requests in this case.

Counsel: Charlotte, T.J. Orr and Holland & Knight, Anita Mosner, 202-955-3000, anita.mosner@hklaw.com


December 13, 2007

Answer of the City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership - Bookmarked

The City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership respectfully submit this answer in strong support of the application of Continental Airlines for the allocation of seven U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies, which would enable Continental to operate a second daily flight between Houston and Bogota, timed to operate overnight to suit the needs of businesses and other travelers. This would be the first such U.S.-flag service, and would provide a significant enhancement to Houston’s international air transport network, as well as that of the west and central regions of the United States.

Counsel: Zuckert Scoutt, Rachel Trinder, 202-298-8660, rbtrinder@zsrlaw.com


December 13, 2007

Answer of Continental Airlines - Bookmarked

The Department should take the one small step available to it to reduce the extreme Imbalance in U.S. gateway service to Colombia by selecting Continental for seven frequencies to provide its important overnight Houston- Bogota service to benefit passengers at Houston, Bogota and throughout Colombia and Continental's Houston hub network rather than adding additIOnal service at the largest east coast gateways which are already receiving competitlve service and will soon receive additional service even without the allocation of additIonal frequencies in this proceeding or opening new gateways that will provide limited public benefits. Additional service at the primary U.S. gateways for Colombia service (Miami/Fort Lauderdale and New York/JFK) would benefit airlmes which already offer far more Colombia frequencies than Continental can offer or pit airlmes with no experience and no networks (JetBlue and Spirit) against the dominant U.S. and Colombian airlines at their primary U.S. gateways. The Houston-Bogota market is far larger than the new gateways proposed and offers more connecting opportumtles than the new gateways Continental's convenient overmght flights will serve the largest U.S. gateway city without double daily nonstop Bogota service.

Counsel: Crowell & Moring, Bruce Keiner, 202-624-2615


December 13, 2007

Answer of Delta Air Lines - Bookmarked

The Department should Selze this opportunity to maxomize the public benefits of its recent success in liberalizing the U.S.-Colombia market. Only Delta has the experience and network strength to repair the competitive imbalance in this market. Only Delta is proposing to serve the underserved New York gateway, and only Delta can bring the connectivity of the Atlanta hub to the Medellin and Cali markets. Delta urges the Department to grant an award of 14 frequencies to Delta to provide nonstop service on the New York-Bogota, Atlanta-Medellin, and Atlanta-Cali routes

Counsel: Hogan & Hartson, Robert Cohn, 202-637-4999, recohn@hhlaw.com


December 13, 2007

Consolidated Answer of jetBlue Airways - Bookmarked

Only JetBlue’s proposed service would offer consumers low-fare service from a new entrant in the U.S.-Colombia market. JetBlue’s proposed service meets all of the Department’s requirements, and presents the Department with the opportunity to open up the Colombian market to competition with the entry of a successful, low-fare carrier. JetBlue’s history indicates that its entry to the U.S.-Colombia market with award-winning customer service and low fares will increase competition among carriers, stimulate growth in the market, and lower overall fares.

contrast, the service currently provided by American, Continental, and Delta is substantial. These carriers already have extensive service to Colombia, and their selection for extra frequencies would add little to the restricted U.S.-Colombia market. The U.S.-Colombia service proposed by these carrier would be merely more of the same. Moreover, the service proposed by U.S. Airways and Spirit cannot match the public benefits and competitive growth that would result from JetBlue’s proposed service.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


December 13, 2007

Consolidated Answer of Spirit Airlines to the Supplement Applications and Responses - Bookmarked

In this proceeding, the Department should resist the temptation to divide the available 28 frequencies among several carriers. This is a unique proceeding in which awarding all 28 frequencies to a single applicant — Spirit — will maximize public interest benefits for consumers, including creating the most competitive international market in Latin America where frequency restrictions apply.

While the proposals of all the other applicants, particularly those submitted by Delta, Continental, and JetBlue, could provide the public with some benefits, apportioning the frequencies among various carriers, even if some frequencies were awarded to Spirit, would not produce the same level of benefits that awarding all 28 frequencies to Spirit will create for the traveling public.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


December 13, 2007

Consolidated Answer of US Airways - Bookmarked

US Airways’ Washington-Charlotte-Bogota proposal best serves the public interest, and will markedly enhance competition in the U.S.-Colombia market. US Airways is the only new entrant applicant proposing service from a new gateway--Charlotte--that is also a strong network hub and the second largest hub in the eastern United States, which will result in increased inter-gateway competition. Only US Airways will provide Bogota connections to 73 cities, the first one-stop online connecting service to 10 points, and the first competitive servicc to 22 points. US Airways is also the only ncw entrant able to serve all market segments, with the ability to upgauge to dual-class 193-seal B757-200 aircraft. And no applicant - incumbent or new entrant - would bring the competitive benefits associated with the injection of a new global alliance into the U.S.-Colombia market. US Airways looks forward to bringing to consumers the benefits of its proposed service, and respectfully requests that the Department allocate to it the seven frequencies necessary to commence scheduled combination service to Bogota on October 1, 2008.

Counsel: Squire Sanders, Charles Donley, 202-626-6600, cdonley@ssd.com


Charleston County Aviation Authority Support for US Airways
Gastonia, NC Mayor Support for US Airways
Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance Support for US Airways
Onslow County, NC Albert Ellis Airport Director Support for US Airways




December 13, 2007

Answer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Support of Application of Delta Air Lines - Bookmarked

Delta's proposed services to Medellin and Call would greatly enhance the level of competition in the U.S.-Colombia, U.S.-Medellin, and U.S.-Cali markets, and the overall market structure. Moreover, it would provide far greater public benefits in terms of connectivity, aircraft capacity, a new entrant carrier, and a new U.S. gateway for Medellin/Cali service than Spirit or American would provide with their respective Medellin services. The Department should award Delta 7 frequencies for Atlanta- Medellin/Cali service before awarding such frequencies to any other carrier for Colombia service.

By: MACC, Sam Williams, 404-586-8575


December 14, 2007

Motion for Leave to File Supplement No. 1 to Application of JetBlue Airways

The attached Supplement No. 1 contains the nonstop-to-nonstop connecting schedules for JetBlue’s proposed MCO-BOG service to be operated for the twelve months ending April 1, 2009, for the April 1, 2008 frequencies, and the nonstop-to-nonstop connecting schedules for JetBlue’s proposed FLL-BOG service to be operated for the twelve months ending October 1, 2009, for the October 1, 2008 frequencies.

This information was omitted from JetBlue’s Application and Supplemental Application (filed Dec. 6, 2007), because JetBlue interpreted the Department’s Instituting Order, Order 2007-11-23, served November 26, 2007 as requiring only proposed schedules for flights that were both single-plane and nonstop-to-nonstop connections. The Order states that interested carriers must submit the “[p]roposed date for instituting service in a given U.S.-Colombia city-pair market, and single-plane and
nonstop-to-nonstop connecting schedules proposed to be operated for the 12 months ending December 1, 2008, for the December 1, 2007 frequencies; April 1, 2009, for the April 1, 2008 frequencies; and October 1, 2009, for the October 1, 2008 frequencies.” Following its interpretation of the language quoted above, JetBlue submitted the single-plane, nonstop-to-nonstop connecting schedules for its JFK-MCO and MCO-JFK service, on its proposed MCO-BOG route, and for its IAD-FLL and FLL-IAD service, on its proposed FLL-BOG route.

Counsel: JetBlue and Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


December 14, 2007

Answer of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in Support of the Application of Delta Air Lines - Bookmarked

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey strongly supports the Application of Delta Air Lines for seven weekly frequencies in order to operate daily nonstop service between New York’s JFK International Airport and Bogotá, Colombia. The New York Metropolitan Area needs more nonstop service to Colombia in order to serve its large local population, its many businesses with ties to Colombia, and its substantial traffic demand to Colombia. There is no U.S.-flag nonstop service between JFK and Colombia and Delta’s proposed JFK-Bogotá would address this critical need.

Counsel: PANYNJ, Bradley Rubinstein, 212-435-3741, brubinstein@panynj.gov


Letters in Support:

Greenville County, SC in Support of US Airways
Latin American Chamber of Commerce Charlotte
in Support of US Airways
North Carolina Chamber of Commerce in Support of US Airways




December 18, 2007

Reply of American Airlines - Bookmarked

None of the proposals by other applicants should have priority over retention by American of our seven weekly U.S.Colombia frequencies that were improperly placed in issue by the instituting order.

American's full pattern of nonstop service between Miami and Bogota (three trips a day) and between Miami and Medellin (twice a day) should be preserved by a favorable decision on our petition for reconsideration of Order 2007-11-23. Alternatively, the Department should re-award to American the seven frequencies we already hold and are currently operating in the Miami-Bogota and Miami-Medellin markets.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647, carl.nelson@aa.com


December 18, 2007

Reply of Continental Airlines - Bookmarked

With 28 frequencies available for allocation, the Department has before it an opportunity to expand the scope of U.S.-Colombia service beyond the predominant Florida markets and to enhance competition for American' and Avianca/Delta, the carriers that dominate U.S.-Colombia service. Continental urges the Department to seize the opportunity and award seven new frequencies to Continental for its proposed overnight Houston-Bogota flights serving the central and western states, which will leave the Department free to award the 21 other frequencies available to increase service options in the eastern United States by awarding daily frequencies for service to three different carrier/gateway combinations, just as the Department has done in rejecting requests for multiple daily frequencies to a single carrier and awarding China frequencies to multiple carriers and gateways.

Counsel: Continental and Crowell & Moring, Bruce Keiner, 202-624-2615, rbkeiner@crowell.com


December 18, 2007

Reply of Delta Air Lines - Bookmarked

Nothing in the answers of the other carrier-applicants undermines the overwhelming evidence of record demonstrating that Delta's proposals - to operate first-time U.S.-flag nonstop service between JFK and Bogota and to establish Atlanta as a new gateway for service to Medellin and Cali - would maximize the public benefits and enhance the competitive market structure more than any other applicant.

The Department has the unique opportunity to achieve the dual objectives of maximizing public benefits and substantially enhancing the competitive market structure in the U.S.-Colombia market by awarding Delta 14 weekly frequencies for JFK-Bogota and Atlanta-Medellin/Cali service. Delta's Bogota and Medellin/Cali proposals should be the Department's highest priority because they will produce service and competition benefits far surpassing those of any other applicant's proposal. Delta urges the Department to grant Delta 7 frequencies for nonstop New York-Bogota service and 7 frequencies for nonstop Atlanta-Medellin/Cali service.

Counsel: Hogan & Hartson, Robert Cohn, 202-637-4999, recohn@hhlaw.com


December 18, 2007

Consolidated Reply of jetBlue Airways - Bookmarked

It is little wonder that the established carriers oppose JetBlue Airways’ service proposals to Colombia. Carriers such as Delta, American, Continental and US Airways have intentionally focused their growth strategies on international service because of the lack of meaningful price competition in those markets! As high‑cost carriers, the prospect of low‑fare competition clearly dampens their hopes and plans for continuing to be able to charge high prices and provide lesser­quality service. Enabling JetBlue to enter the market with low-fare, award-winning service will frustrate those carriers' plans to continue to levy high fares on the traveling public with poor service. The Department of Transportation should ensure that those carriers are not given more opportunities to provide the same service to which the traveling public is already relegated.

Counsel: JetBlue and Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


December 18, 2007

Reply of Spirit Airlines - Bookmarked

In this proceeding, the Department has received five competing proposals to provide air transportation to Colombia, in addition to the proposal submitted by Spirit Airlines, which would create, for the first time, competitive low fare service to Colombia and first time U.S. carrier service at the most important gateway to Colombia. Undeniably, each of these competing proposals would provide at least some public interest benefits. However, none of these proposals would provide the public with more benefit than that submitted by Spirit.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


December 18, 2007

Consolidated Reply of US Airways - Bookmarked

The applications and answers submitted in this proceeding confirm that no applicant is able to provide the extensive combination of benefits associated with US Airways’ Washington-Charlotte-Bogota service proposal. Indeed, several applicants acknowledge the strength of US Airways’ proposal, and their answers seek to persuade the Department of Transportation that they share some of US Airways’ strengths. While the competing proposals would offer a few benefits to consumers, none of the other proposals would generate the array of benefits flowing from US Airways’ proposal. Without question, US Airways’ application for seven frequencies to serve Washington-Charlotte-Bogota will result in the maximum public benefits, and should be approved promptly.

Counsel: US Airways and Squire Sanders, Charles Donley, 202-626-6600, cdonley@ssd.com




December 18, 2007

Reply of the City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership

The City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership respectfully submit this reply in further support of the application of Continental Airlines for the allocation of seven U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies, which would enable Continental to start a second daily flight between Houston and Bogota and bring significant benefits to the greater Houston area and the entire west and central regions of the U.S.

The filings of Continental and the Houston Parties firmly establish the necessity and importance of an award of U.S.-Colombia frequencies to Continental. Simply put, the Department’s first priority should be an award that would result in new flight options for consumers in an underserved region of the U.S. - i.e., the new services proposed by Continental.

Counsel: Zuckert Scoutt, Rachel Trinder, 202-298-8660, rbtrinder@zsrlaw.com



December 20, 2007

Letter in Opposition to Continental Airlines | Word

I understand that items submitted to the DOT are not always read by the Department of Transportation or anyone else, but hopefully some airline's lawyers read this so they can catch light of the manipulation and trickery that Continental Airlines is currently proceeding with in an attempt to unjustly gain seven weekly frequencies in the Houston-Bogotá market, which has little demand and does virtually nothing to serve the majority of the flying public.

Continental Airlines argues that they do not have the "freedom" to switch these frequencies out of Cali. That is blatantly false. The route authority allows them to interchange the Houston-Cali frequencies with Houston-Medellin frequencies (See OST-2005-20150, in which the route authority is clearly flexible between Cali and Medellin).

By: Steven Barry, Miami Shores, FL



Order 2007-12-21
OST-2007-0006

Issued and Served December 21, 2007

Order on Reconsideration

By this order we grant the petition of American Airlines, Inc. for reconsideration of Order 2007-11-23 in the above-captioned proceeding. On reconsideration, we deny the relief requested.

We are not persuaded by American’s claims that reexamination of the allocation of its seven frequencies in this proceeding is arbitrary and capricious, or that we have violated its due process rights. In our previous actions permitting American to retain its frequencies noted above, we explicitly put American on notice that we would reexamine the matter if it did not use its frequencies as proposed. Subsequent to that notice, American changed its proposed use of the frequencies. With regard to American’s due process rights, we note that, contrary to the assertions in American’s petition, we have not taken any frequencies away from American. All seven frequencies remain available for American’s use, subject to the outcome of this proceeding in which American can participate fully. American will have the opportunity to seek to demonstrate on a record the public interest benefits of its alternative use of these frequencies in the Miami-Bogota and Miami-Medellin markets, and to assert that the public interest favors its retention of the frequencies. Under these circumstances, we see no persuasive basis to remove from this proceeding our consideration of the seven frequencies that American had previously proposed for solely Miami-Barranquilla service.

By: Andrew Steinberg



Letters in Support of JetBlue

Busch Entertainment Corporation
The Honorable Ric Keller
Orange County Office of The Mayor
City of Orlando in Support
Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Support
Disney Destinations in Support
Genicon


Letters in Support of US Airways

Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte
Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Gastonia, Office of the Mayor
Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance
Charlotte Center City Partners
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
State of North Carolina, Office of the Governor
North Carolina Delegation
Charleston County Aviation Authority
North Carolina Senators Dole and Burr
Wilmington, NC Airport in Support of US Airways




Filed in US Circuit Court for DC January 22, 2008

Petition for Review of American Airlines

American Airlines, Inc. hereby petitions for review of the following orders issued by the Department of Transportation in Docket DOT-OST-2007-0006 with respect to allocation of frequencies for air service between the United States and Colombia: Order 2007-11-23, issued on November 26, 2007 and Order 2007-12-21, issued on December 21, 2007.

Counsel: Jones Day, Michael Carvin, 202-879-3939, macarvin@jonesday.com



February 8, 2008

Congressional Support for Spirit Airlines

By: Congressmen Ron Klein, Alcee Hastings, Tim Mahoney, Debbie Wasserman Schults and Robert Wexler


February 8, 2008

Broward County, FL in Support of Spirit Airlines

By: Mayor, Lois Wexler, 954-557-7005



February 22, 2008

Motion of American Airlines to Update Response to Evidence Request

Given the fact that it is now late February and a show-cause order has not yet been issued, American has reluctantly determined that it can no longer assume the risk of reallocation of its seven frequencies by continuing to operate those frequencies beyond April 7, 2008. Accordingly, as of that date, American is suspending operation the seven frequencies at issue, and will restore order in American's favor.

After the suspension, American's service pattern between the U.S. and Colombia will be as follows:

Miami-Bogota 14 weekly frequencies (7 less than American now operates using the disputed frequencies)
Miami-Medellin 14 weekly frequencies (unchanged)
Miami-Cali 7 weekly frequencies (unchaged)
Total 35
Miami-Barranquilla 7 weekly frequencies (unchanged; no allocation requred since BAQ is an open skies city)

If the Department's final order returns the seven contested frequencies to American, we will use them to restore our third daily flight between Miami and Bogota, subject to a standard 90-day start-up condition.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647, carl.nelson@aa.com



Order 2008-3-4
OST-2007-0006

Issued and Served March 5, 2008

Order to Show Cause - Bookmarked

By this Order we tentatively allocate 21 U.S.-Colombia frequencies newly available under the U.S.-Colombia Air Transport Agreement. In addition, we tentatively reallocate seven weekly U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies that are currently held by American Airlines, Inc.

We tentatively award Delta Air Lines, Inc., JetBlue Airways Corporation, Spirit Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. seven frequencies each, along with underlying economic authority, as needed, to provide combination services in the U.S.-Colombia market as follows: 1) Delta for its proposed New York (JFK)-Bogota services, effective immediately; 2) JetBlue for its proposed Orlando-Bogota services, effective April 1, 2008; 3) Spirit for its proposed Ft. Lauderdale-Bogota services, effective April 1, 2008; and 4) Continental for its proposed Houston-Bogota services, effective October 1, 2008.

We propose to grant Delta, JetBlue, and Spirit exemption authority for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and to make this authority effective immediately upon issuance of a final order in this proceeding. We note that Continental currently holds certificate authority to provide Houston-Bogota service on Route 645, granted by Order 2001-12-8, in Docket OST-1996-1318.

By: Michael Reynolds



March 19, 2008

Objections of American Airlnes to Show-Cause Order 2008-3-4 - Bookmarked

American continues to dispute the legitimacy of instituting Order 2007-11-23, November 28, 2007, which improperly placed our frequencies in issue for re-allocation, and Order 2007-12-21, December 21, 2007, affirming that decision on reconsideration. On January 22, 2008, American petitioned for judicial review of these orders in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (No. 08-1025). We are seeking a decision by the Court that the Department’s confiscation of our authority for re-allocation was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law.

American challenges the very premise of this proceeding to place our frequencies in issue. We also object to the tentative decision that our continued use of this authority for additional service to Colombia from the Miami hub would provide fewer public benefits than the proposals of Continental
Airlines, Inc. (Houston-Bogota), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (New York JFK-Bogota), JetBlue Airways, Inc. (Orlando-Bogota), and Spirit Airlines, Inc. (Fort Lauderdale-Bogota).

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647


March 19, 2008

Comments of Delta Air Lines on Order to Show Cause - Bookmarked

Delta respectfully objects to the Department's decision to award seven valuable U.S.-Colombia frequencies to Continental for its proposed duplicative Houston-Bogota service, particularly when Continental is not fully utilizing the frequencies it already has. Delta understands that the Department rarely fails to finalize a tentative decision to award frequencies in a comparative selection proceeding, but respectfully suggests that reconsideration is warranted here because the second largest incumbent carrier in this restricted entry market should not receive additional frequencies for service in a market it already adequately serves when it is currently failing to fully utilize the valuable Colombia frequencies it already has. Delta's proposal to create a new gateway at Atlanta for service to Cali and Medellin would provide greater public benefits.

Counsel: Delta and Hogan & Hartson, Robert Cohn, 202-637-4999/5659


March 19, 2008

Response and Objection of Spirit Airlines to Order 2008-3-4 - Bookmarked

Spirit Airlines, Inc. files this response to Order 2008-3-4 (March 5, 2008) in support of the Department’s award of seven frequencies to it to serve the FLL-BOG market, and to urge the Department to award it an additional seven frequencies for Fort Lauderdale-Medellín service in lieu of making final the tentative award to Continental to operate a daily red-eye service between Houston and Bogotá using a 124 seat B-737.

Although allocating limited frequencies is a difficult task, Spirit respectfully submits that on balance, the frequencies tentatively allocated to Continental could provide far greater public interest benefits by being awarded to Spirit for service in the Fort Lauderdale-Medellín market. If more frequencies were available, providing frequencies to Continental for its proposed service would be a reasonable choice. In the current situation, however, adding a second flight in a monopoly market where Continental could easily meet demand by operating a larger aircraft will not provide the same level of public benefits as adding new competitive service by Spirit in the much larger South Florida-Medellín market. Low-fare entry in the FLL-MDE market will save travelers millions of dollars a year in air fares and stimulate considerable new traffic. It will establish a new competitive gateway and an important new level of competition to American and Avianca. On balance, this service would offer substantially more benefits than the proposed Continental service, lead to a better distribution of the limited frequencies, and advance all of the pro-competitive policies enacted by Congress.

As the Department correctly recognized in this Order, making seven of those valuable frequencies available for new daily service and enhanced competition by new entrant carriers will provide the public substantially greater benefits than would result from continued warehousing of the frequencies by American to further its dominant position in the U.S. and South Florida market to Bogotá and Medellín.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


March 19, 2008

Objections of US Airways - Bookmarked

US Airways is disappointed with the Department's tentative decision and frequency allocation. As the Show Cause Order notes, the U.S.‑Colombia market has been denied the competitive benefits associated with new entry since 2000‑‑nearly eight years without new U.S. carrier service. This lamentable fact, coupled with the market presence of three large incumbent carriers (American, Continental, and Delta), two of the three major world airline alliances (oneworid and Skyteam) and the lack of near‑term opportunities for new entry, certainly justifies and, indeed, compels the allocation of U.S.‑Colombia frequencies to new entrant carriers, including US Airways, to the maximum degree possible. Instead, the Department's tentative decision proposes allocation of only one‑hall the available frequencies to new entrant carriers, leaving the incumbents with control of nearly 85% of all limited‑entry U.S.‑Colombia frequencies. US Airways urges the Department to reconsider its tentative decision and to allocate seven frequencies to US Airways for new Colombia service from a new U.S. gateway‑Charlotte. An award to US Airways will not only inject a new competitor and gateway into the market, it will allow the Star Alliance to compete in the U.S.‑Colombia market for the first time. No other service proposal in this case carries with it these important competitive benefits.

Counsel: US Airways and Squire Sanders, Charles Donley, 202-626-6600, cdonley@ssd.com



March 21, 2008

Re: Comments of Mike Bryan

I would like to express my disagreement with American Airlines' position with relation to Spirit Airlines. American claims that there is no need for additional service to Colombia from South Florida and that Miami is enough to serve the region. As a citizen of South Florida, I disagree and re-affirm the need for direct service from Fort Lauderdale to Colombia. In addition to tourists and business people of both countries, Spirit has committed to serve the vast Colombian immigrant population resides in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Fort Lauderdale area in addition to Palm Beach should be afforded the opportunity to an alternative other that American Airlines and Miami International Airport.

As a regular citizen, I praise the DOT for it's decision in allowing both Low Cost Carriers Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways to initiate operations in markets once restricted to major carriers. This will enable more competition and more options to the benefit of the population. I further request that Spirit Airlines be granted access the Medellin, Colombia from it's Fort Lauderdale hub.




March 24, 2008

American Airlines' Response in Opposition to DOT Motion to Dismiss - Bookmarked

Petitioner American Airlines, Inc. respectfully submits this Response in opposition to the Motion filed by Respondent Department of Transportation to dismiss the Petition for Review. Both Order 2007-11-23 and Order 2007-12-21 are final and reviewable by this Court because they unequivocally deny American's right, under longstanding agency precedent, to retain seven U.S.-Colombia air service frequencies, and alter the legal regime applicable to American's rights in those frequencies. The fact that the Department has not yet finally decided how to reallocate the frequencies taken from American does not change that dispositive fact. Therefore, the Court should deny the Department's Motion to Dismiss.

Orders 2007-11-23 and 2007-12-21 finally - and wrongly - rejected American's right to retain seven U.S.-Colombia air service frequencies under the "firm plans" doctrine, and altered the legal standard by which American could both use and retain those frequencies. Indeed, the Department's argument that the two orders are not final confuses two separate agency actions: (1) the Department's final decision to depart from longstanding agency precedent and place seven of American's U.S.-Colombia frequencies up for potential reallocation; and (2) the Department's ultimate allocation of those frequencies in the carrier selection proceeding. American is seeking judicial review of the first issue at this time - not the second.

Counsel: Jones Day, John Gore, 202-879-3939, jmgore@jonesday.com



March 26, 2008

Answer of Continental Airlines

The Department's well-reasoned decision awarding Continental seven frequencies for Houston-Bogota flights necessary to address the extraordinary service imbalance between Colombia and points in the eastern United States and points in the western United States should be adopted promptly. The interests of Houston and consumers throughout the western United States must not be sacrificed to the commercial interests of American, Delta, Spirit or US Airways as hey seek to add even more duplicative east coast/Florida-Colombia service than the 21 frequencies already tentatively awarded for east coast/Florida-Colombia service in this proceeding. Since the four objecting applicants raise only arguments that have already been made to, and rejected by, the Department in this proceeding, the Department's decision awarding seven frequencies for Continental's proposed overnight Houston-Bogota service should be affirmed promptly.

Counsel: Crowell & Moring, Bruce Keiner, 202-624-2615


March 26, 2008

Reply of The City of Houston and The Greater Houston Partnership

In this case, the Department has noted "that an important advantage to having a substantial number of frequencies under consideration is that it enables us to respond to a variety of important public interest needs." See Order 2008-3-4, at 11. The award that the Department has proposed for Continental - 7 frequencies for Houston-Bogota service - would fulfill one of these needs, namely for additional service to Colombia from the underserved west and central regions of the U.S. Based on the specific facts and circumstances at issue in this proceeding, the Department's proposal is consistent with its own precedents and the public interest, and should be made final. In contrast, the Department in this case should deny the objections which urge the Department to instead focus on only a limited slice of the public interest - or focus on the preferences and desires of particular air carriers, which do not necessarily reflect the public interest overall.

Counsel: Zuckert Scoutt, Rachel Trinder


March 26, 2008

Consolidated Reply of JetBlue Airways

JetBlue applauds the Department for its decision to tentatively award JetBlue seven (7) frequencies to institute Orlando - Bogota service. JetBlue is a true new entrant to the U.S.-Colombia market, and will provide low fares and award-winning customer service to the traveling public through its Orlando Bogota service. No other carrier can match JetBlue's established commitment to low-fare service with award-winning benefits for travelers. JetBlue will also enhance gateway competition through the introduction of a new U.S. gateway at Orlando. JetBlue's history indicates that its entry into the U.S.-Colombia market will increase competition among carriers, stimulate growth in the market, and lower overall fares. In addition, American's objections to JetBlue's selection for seven (7) frequencies is meritless and should be disregarded by the Department. JetBlue takes no position on the objections raised by Delta, Spirit, and US Airways, except to note that their objections should have no effect on the finalization of JetBlue's frequency allocation.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000, jhill@dowlohnes.com


March 24, 2008

Re: City of Orlando in Support of JetBlue

By: Mayor Buddy Dyer


March 26, 2008

Consolidated Answer of Spirit Airlines - Bookmarked

Spirit appreciates the Department's decision to award it seven frequencies to serve Bogota and urges the Department to quickly make that decision final so Spirit can begin service as soon as possible. Respectfully, however, Spirit strongly urges the Department to reconsider its tentative award to Continental, for the reasons discussed in Spirit's Objection and in this Answer, as well as in the objections of American, Delta, and US Airways. Among those vying for the seven frequencies tentatively awarded to Continental, Spirit's should be selected because it will provide the most benefits of any carrier in this proceeding, namely, new entry, important new service to MedellIn, increased competition in the U.S.-Colombia market by an ultra low fare carrier, markedly lower fares than any incumbent, and greater market stimulation. By allocating these frequencies to Spirit, the Department and the traveling public will be duly recognized and rewarded, by the establishment of an overall U.S.-Colombia market structure and presence that will promote innovation and competition, while stimulating new traffic between these important allied nations.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348


March 26, 2008

Answer of US Airways

The choice facing the Department is clear‑‑on the one hand, should Continental, which has failed to use its existing Colombia frequencies to their fullest extent, receive an allocation of frequencies in this proceeding so that it can duplicate existing Houston- Bogota service, while adding no new gateway and entrenching its dominance and that of its alliance, or. on the other hand, should US Airways receive an allocation so that it can serve the Washington-Charlotte-Bogota market as a new entrant, from a new network hub gateway, and bring new alliance competition into the market. Unquestionably, competitive conditions in the U.S.-Colombia market will be enhanced to a far greater degree by selection of US Airways over Continental, and over Delta, Spirit, and American. US Airways urges the Department to allocate to it for Washington-Charlotte-Bogota service the seven frequencies allocated tentatively to Continental.

Counsel: Squire Sanders, Charles Donley, 202-626-6600, cdonley@ssd.com



Order 2008-5-27
OST-2007-0006

Issued and Served May 21, 2008

Final Order - Bookmarked

By this Order, we make final our tentative findings and conclusions set forth in Order 2008-3-4 with respect to allocation of 21 U.S.-Colombia frequencies newly available under the U.S.-Colombia Air Transport Agreement and reallocation of seven weekly U.S.-Colombia combination frequencies currently allocated to American Airlines, Inc. (American), resulting in a total of 28 frequencies allocated in this proceeding.

Specifically, we award Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, and Continental Airlines seven frequencies each, along with underlying economic authority, as needed, to provide combination services in the U.S.-Colombia market as follows: 1) Delta for its proposed New York (JFK)-Bogota services, effective immediately; 2) JetBlue for its proposed Orlando-Bogota services, effective immediately; 3) Spirit for its proposed Ft. Lauderdale-Bogota services, effective immediately; and 4) Continental for its proposed Houston-Bogota services, effective October 1, 2008.

By: Michael Reynolds



July 3, 2008

Motion of jetBlue Airways

jetBlue Airways Corporation respectfully requests that the Department amend Order 2008-5-27 to the extent necessary to permit jetBlue to begin scheduled combination service between Orlando, Florida and Bogota, Colombia no later than May 1, 2009.

By minimally delaying the start date for its Orlando-Bogota service, jetBlue will be better able to effectively market, sell and manage the impact of higher fuel prices for service to commence at a time to capitalize on "high season" travel to Colombia. jetBlue wishes to retain its exemption authority and seven weekly U.S.-Colombia frequencies so that it can institute its Orlando-Bogota service by May 1, 2009.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000

OST-2008-0181 - Temporary Blanket Dormancy Waiver Request by Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways Which Was Denied by the DOT



July 9, 2008

Consolidated Motion and Answer of Delta Air Lines - Bookmarked

Delta Air Lines, Inc. hereby moves the Department to modify Order 2008-5-27 to the extent necessary to permit Delta to delay the start-up of its New York (JFK)-Bogota services until May 1, 2009. Delta also answers the motion of jetBlue Airways Corporation for similar relief filed in this docket on July 3, 2008. Delta does not object to JetBlue’s request to delay the start-up of its Orlando-Bogota service until May 1, 2009, so long as Delta’s request for similar relief is also granted.

Unfortunately, as noted by JetBlue in its recent motion seeking similar relief, the peak travel season for U.S.-Colombia service is the summer season. Even in the best of times, commencing new international service just at the end of the peak travel season, and then sustaining it for several months through a difficult off-peak season before market conditions improve, imposes serious financial challenges for carriers. No carrier would rationally commence new international service or attempt to develop a new international route on this timetable in an unrestricted market. To the contrary, the timing of this scheduled start-up is simply the unfortunate result of the fact that the final order in the U.S.-Colombia frequency allocation case was not issued until late May, and included the standard 90-day start up condition the Department typically includes in its limited entry frequency awards. These circumstances have combined to create a start-up condition that would irrationally force the carriers selected to commence their new U.S.-Colombia services at the worst possible time of the year. The combination stacks the deck against their ability to make these new services successful.

The public interest will be best served by allowing Delta to commence its New York – Bogota service under conditions that maximize the probability of its long term success. This will ensure that Delta can continue to deliver those substantial benefits to the traveling public over the long term. Forcing Delta to commence and sustain this service while incurring significant losses for several months during the off-peak period will, to the contrary, maximize the chance that the service will fail and be terminated indefinitely. That, in turn, would result in a failure to realize the significant public interest benefits of this service, as recognized by the Department in Orders 2008-3-4 and 2008-5-27.

Counsel: Delta, Scott McClain, 404-773-6514

OST-2008-0181 - Temporary Blanket Dormancy Waiver Request by Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways Which Was Denied by the DOT



July 10, 2008

Comments of Public Citizen "Steven"

Delta Air Lines’ and JetBlue Airway’s independent requests to delay Colombia frequencies should both be denied. Seven of the frequencies must be returned to an open pool and the other seven returned to American Airlines following both airlines’ failure to start service by August 19, 2008.

In the alternative, either Delta Air Lines’ or JetBlue’s request to delay service should be approved. The Department of Transportation should decide accordingly as to which proposed route provides a greater service to the traveling public. The frequencies of less valuable service should be transferred to American Airlines, at which point American Airlines can either use the frequencies or similarly apply to delay service until May 1, 2009. The request or denial of American Airlines’ application to delay service should be consistent with the request or denial of the other seven frequencies.

By: Steven



July 15, 2008

Spirit Airlines Answer in Opposition to the Motions of JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines and Application for Frequencies - Bookmarked

Amended Certificate of Service

Grant of the generalized Delta and JetBlue requests for extensions of time to operate these valuable, limited frequencies will result, at best, in the public receiving no new service from these hard-won frequencies for approximately 10 months. Such a delay is contrary to the Department’s goal in instituting the Colombia proceeding to make use of these hard-won rights and generate new and immediate competitors. While Spirit and every airline struggle with a sluggish aviation market and high fuel prices, the Department should permit the aviation market to function as intended. When an established U.S. flag carrier, such as Spirit, believes it can operate profitably in an important international market where others cannot, it should be given the opportunity to provide the service. There is strong precedent to support this reallocation. It promotesthe public interest for air service to be provided and for limited frequencies not to remainidle. JetBlue and Delta should not get a “pass,” based on generalized “market realities”that do not apply specifically or at all to Colombia.

Spirit respectfully urges the Department not to grant the requested waiver of the start up dates, to grant Spirit authority to provide scheduled combination service between the U.S. and Medellín, and to award it 14 frequencies to operate a second daily Fort Lauderdale-Bogotá flight and a new daily Fort Lauderdale- Medellín flight. Spirit will provide much needed service, competition, and low fares in the very important U.S.-Colombia market.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348




July 17, 2008

Answer and Reply of Delta Air Lines

Delta urges the Department to grant its motion for a modification of the start-up condition in Order 2008-5-27, allowing Delta to optimize the timing of its inauguration of the New York – Bogota service by commencing that service on May 1, 2009. If granted this relief, Delta has no objection to a temporary allocation of its frequencies for use by Spirit in the interim prior to May 1, 2009, if Spirit truly wants to begin offering double-daily Bogota service or additional service to Medellin immediately as it claims.

In the alternative, however, Delta would comply with a modified start-up condition allowing it to inaugurate service just prior to the smaller peak winter season, on December 18, 2008. This lesser included relief, while less than ideal, would still allow Delta the flexibility to begin its New York – Bogota service at a time when it is more likely to succeed than if commenced at its current August start date. Requiring a start date no later than December 18, 2008, would also reduce to almost zero the potential differential between the start of Delta’s New York – Bogota service and the earliest possible start date of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale services that Spirit offers to substitute.

Counsel: Delta, Scott McClain, 404-773-6514


July 17, 2008

Motion for Leave to File and Reply of jetBlue Airways

JetBlue, apparently unlike Spirit, fully understands that in making a decision in limited entry markets, the Department of Transportation's Order must be taken as a whole and not viewed in isolation or dissected into stand alone parts. The Department in issuing its Order 2008-5-27 carefully allocated the newly available U.S.-Colombia frequencies among U.S. air carriers and gateways participating in the proceeding. In suggesting that Spirit should receive all 21 of the 27 frequencies available Spirit misses the essence of the Order. The Department specifically stated that the "ability to award the newly available rights in this restricted market [ ] permits us to enhance competition by the introduction ofnew entrant carriers," and "the ability to make nlultiple awards [] enablers] us to achieve other objectives in the public interest, namely the ability to open new gateways and add service in underserved markets."

An allocation to Spirit of all 21 frequencies that became available as a result of the amendments to the bilateral agreement between the United States and Colombia would disrupt the Department's specially-crafted balance of new entrant carriers, new gateways, and added service in underserved markets. Spirit's proposed use of JetBlue's frequencies would add no new carriers (as Spirit itself admits, it will be starting service to Colombia this week), no new gateways (Spirit proposes service from the FLL/MIA gateway, which already has extensive service options to Colombia), and would not add service in underserved markets (since FLL/MIA, BOG and MDE already have U.S.-flag carrier service).

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000



July 21, 2008

Motion of Spirit Air for Leave to File and Reply to jetBlue and Delta

Other than to mischaracterize Spirit’s response and request for reallocation of frequencies -- frequencies JetBlue and Delta choose not to operate as required by the Department -- the latest papers filed by JetBlue and Delta provide nothing new, and their replies do not justify extending their start dates by almost one year in the valuable U.S.-Colombia market. Delta and JetBlue cannot disguise the facts that their last minute requests to delay operation of these valuable frequencies will leave the public and the Department with no service and will benefit no one but themselves. Certainly, their requested delays would run counter to the hard work of the U.S. government to negotiate and allocate these valuable frequencies on an expedited basis. They also undermine the public interest in not quickly initiating new service to the most important ally of the United States in South America.

Despite filing unauthorized replies, Delta and JetBlue fail to provide any specific reason in the Orlando or New York-Bogotá markets to justify their requested extensions. Their arguments are no different than those in their previously filed blanket waiver request – at odds with the governing statute, as well as rejected by the Department. Having been denied a blanket waiver, Delta and JetBlue now seek “a second bite at the apple.” Accordingly, Spirit requests that their extension requests by denied and that the Department act to immediately reallocation these 14 frequencies for immediate operation for daily service in the Fort Lauderdale-Medellín market and to provide a second daily Fort Lauderdale-Bogotá flight. Only such action will honor this important opportunity to build the economic, social, and cultural ties with Colombia.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348



July 24, 2008

Motion for Leave to File and Further Reply of jetBlue Airways

As set forth in its prior pleadings in this docket, in its efforts to take prudent steps to assure its long-term success in the Bogota market and in response to the current conditions facing the airline industry as a whole and JetBlue specifically, JetBlue has recently announced that it will be cutting service on certain routes, while adding service on other routes. However, JetBlue wishes to assure the Department that it is not and will not cut service on any of its international routes, and in fact, is expanding its international flights later this year,l and that JetBlue remains fully committed to instituting successful MCO-BOG service on a schedule that would allow it to enter the Bogota market at the proper time.

Establishing operations between very well-established, online and successful markets (such as IAD-CUN and TPA-CUN) is wholly distinct from starting service in a totally new market, in a new country to JetBlue, where significant sales and marketing work, instituted months before the peak travel season, is vitally important to ensure the immediate and long-term success of a carrier on that route (such as MCO-BOG). In fact, establishing successful operations on its MCO-BOG route, in both the short and long term, is a goal that is shared by JetBlue and the Department. JetBlue's reasonable request for a short delay on its MCO-BOG route is entirely distinct from its proposed lAD-CUN and TPA-CUN operations, and Spirit's attempts to compare them should be ignored.

Counsel: Dow Lohnes, Jonathan Hill, 202-776-2000



July 24, 2008

Comments of "Steven"

The Department of Transportation needs to stop giving “free passes” to airlines trying to manipulate the system and hurt consumers for their own inconsequential benefits. Given that both Delta Air Lines and jetBlue have failed (or will fail) to institute service by the August 19th deadline, the Department of Transportation has no choice in the matter except to strip both airlines of their allotted frequencies. Seven frequencies should be returned automatically to American Airlines and the other seven should be placed in an open pool. If Delta and jetBlue so desire to start-up service, they may apply for these frequencies alongside Spirit, realizing that their original attempts to selfishly delay the service will significantly go against them. In addition, given the small size of the Orlando-Colombia market (less than 40 PDEW), jetBlue’s proposed route serves no public purpose and is just an attempt to hoard unneeded frequencies.




Filed July 3, 2008 and July 9, 2008 | Issued August 12, 2008

Notice of Action Taken

We have decided to grant the requests of JetBlue and Delta to delay the start-up of their U.S.-Colombia services to the newly proposed dates that each sets forth in its reply. In reaching this conclusion, we note that Spirit has stated that it would start Bogota service within 60 days and Medellin service within 75 to 90 days. This means that, in light of the revised Delta and Jet Blue start-up dates, the difference in service inauguration dates between Spirit and the two selected carriers could be as brief as only 3-4 months. We do not see that difference as sufficient to undo our public interest findings and the selections we derived from them made in the 2007 U.S.-Colombia Combination Frequency Allocation Proceeding. In making our selections in that proceeding, we clearly stated that we intended to address a variety of public interest objectives. Order 2008-5-27. As part of that multifaceted approach, our selections of the proposals of Delta and JetBlue, along with those of Spirit and Continental, were made because they presented a combination of important public interest benefits that would address specific service and competition deficiencies that have existed in the U.S.-Colombia market as a result of the long-restricted bilateral environment. Delta’s New York (JFK)-Bogota proposal would add U.S.-flag nonstop service in the large but underserved New York (JFK)-Colombia market, and would also furnish meaningful competition with the daily JFK-Bogota services offered by the Colombian carrier, Avianca, as well as competition with the Newark-Bogota services of Continental. JetBlue, a new entrant, would offer the first nonstop service of any kind from Orlando, the largest proposed gateway in the proceeding lacking any nonstop service to Colombia. We are not inclined to forgo those anticipated public benefits in the U.S.-Colombia market overall, and in the specific markets involved, for the short delay granted here absent compelling public interest reasons.

We recognize that a selected carrier’s failure over an extended period to introduce its new service can impose a serious public interest cost that we would not be prepared to accept, especially when another carrier stands ready with a firm commitment to introduce service in the public interest in a substantially shorter time frame. However, taking into account the revised start-up dates offered by Delta and Jet Blue in their replies, we have determined that the short delay in each carrier’s start-up relative to Spirit’s proposed dates would not be so extended as to warrant the carrier’s loss of authority in the circumstances presented.

We therefore will grant each carrier a waiver of its start-up date to the newly proposed date that each sets forth in its reply. Specifically, we will require that JetBlue institute its Orlando-Bogota service no later than February 15, 2009, and that Delta institute its New York (JFK)-Bogota service no later than December 18, 2008. We point out, though, that any further delay might well lead us to evaluate the equation differently. Indeed, we emphasize that we would not be favorably disposed toward any subsequent request from either Delta or Jet Blue to delay its start-up date beyond that which we are approving here.

With respect to Spirit’s request for backup authority, we note that, in the circumstances presented by the record presently before us, we are not inclined to grant its request at this time.

By: Paul Gretch



OST-2005-22025 - Exemption - Atlanta-Puerto Vallarta
OST-2005-22620 - Exemption - Atlanta-Acapulco; Boston-Cancun; Los Angeles-Puerto Vallarta/San Jose del Cabo/Zihuatanejo; Washington, DC-Cancun
OST-2005-22415 - Exemption - Los Angeles-Cancun
OST-2005-22243 - Exemption - New York/Newark-Cozumel
OST-2001-10457 - Exemption - Cincinnati-Cancun
OST-2000-6816 - Exemption - Mexico City-Chicago
OST-2000-7390 - Exemption - Atlanta-San Jose del Cabo
OST-2000-8270 - Exemption - Guadalajara-Ontario
OST-2005-21075 - Exemption - Salt Lake City-Puerto Vallarta
OST-2007-28948 - Exemption - Hartford, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham-Cancun
OST-2007-29356 - Exemption and Allocation of Frequencies - New York-Cape Town via Dakar
OST-1997-3051 - Exemption - Atlanta-Antigua/St. Lucia
OST-1999-5749 - Exemption - US-Belize
OST-2008-0045 - Exemption - US-Guyana
OST-2007-0006 - US-Colombia Frequency Allocation
OST-2008-0185 - Exemption - New York-Buenos Aires
OST-2008-0212 - Frequency Allocation and Exemption Authority - US-Japan Same-Country Codesharing with Northwest
OST-2008-0232 - Exemption - Nashville-Cancun
OST-2008-0227 - Exemption and Frequencies - US-Brazil
OST-2008-0312 - Exemption and Statement of Authorization - US-Mexico Codesharing with AeroMexico
OST-2005-22228 - Streamlining Regulatory Procedures for Licensing US and Foreign Carriers
OST-2007-26805 - Statements of Authorization and Related Exemption - US-Russia Codesharing with Aeroflot
OST-2008-0353 - Exemption - Atlanta-Luanda/Malabo via Sal
OST-2008-0307 - 2008 US-Brazil Combination Frequency Allocation
OST-2008-0374 - Exemption - US-Mexico Codesharing on Routes Operated by Northwest and Compass
OST-2005-20145 - Exemption - Blanket Codeshare Authority
OST-2007-28567 - 2007/2008/2009 US-China Frequency Allocation
OST-1997-3289 - AeroMexico - Exemption - Blanket US-Mexico Beyond Gateways Codesharing
OST-2000-7708 - Delt and AeroMexico - Exemption/Statement of Authorization - United States-Mexico Code-Sharing
OST-2001-10833 - Delta and Aerolitoral - Statement of Authorization - US-Mexico Codesharing

May 1, 2009

Delta Air Lines Application for Renewal of Exemptions

Delta Air Lines, Inc. hereby requests renewal of the exemption and certificate authorities which enable Delta to offer scheduled foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail between the United States and various foreign points. The international services for which renewal is sought are operated either by Delta or its codeshare partners. Delta requests renewal of its exemptions for a period of at least two years, and renewal of its certificates for a period of at least five years.

Counsel: Delta, Sascha Van der Bellen, 202-842-4184



OST-2005-22228 - Streamlining Regulatory Procedures for Licensing US and Foreign Carriers
OST-2007-0006 - US-Colombia Frequency Allocation
OST-2008-0239 - Allocation of Seven US-Colombia Frequencies Returned by Continental Airlines
OST-2007-0075 - Exemption - US-Cartagena, Colombia
OST-2008-0391 - Exemption and Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity - Ft. Lauderdale-Armenia, Colombia
OST-2003-16768 - Exemption - US-Latin America/Caribbean/Canada
OST-2005-21973 - Exemption - US-Turks & Caicos Islands
OST-2006-26607 - Exemption - Ft. Lauderdale-Port-au-Prince
OST-2007-27365 - Exemption - US-Trinidad & Tobago
OST-2006-26438 - Exemption - US-Venezuela

July 2, 2009

Re: Request of Spirit Air for Streamlining

We write on behalf of Spirit Airlines, Inc. to request that the Department of Transportation issue Spirit two consolidated certificates, as outlined in the Department’s February 13, 2009, Notice in Docket OST-2005-22228. Spirit requests these two certificates to consolidate the authority it currently holds for:

(1) Limited entry and frequency markets and
(2) Markets that are not limited as to entry or frequency

As required, Spirit holds consolidated authority for its Open Skies markets, which was granted by the Department in a blanket Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Routes 852, Order 2007-7-3, July 10, 2007.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young



October 1, 2009

Motion of Delta Air Lines for Flexibility in Allocation of 7 Frequencies

Delta Air Lines, Inc. hereby moves for flexibility to use its allocation of seven US-Colombia frequencies, awarded by Order 2008-5-27 in the captioned docket, to serve Bogotá from New York (JFK) and/or Atlanta as warranted by market conditions. Delta used its allocated frequencies to commence nonstop service from JFK to Bogotá, and the route continues to be of long term strategic importance to Delta’s network.

However, based on current market conditions, Delta will be able to make more efficient and productive use of these frequencies at Atlanta. The airline industry continues to suffer the lingering effects of a prolonged recession, swine flu, and increasing fuel prices. In this environment, Delta’s larger Atlanta hub, and shorter and more economical stage length, will provide improved operating results and benefit greater numbers of passengers. Delta will continue to serve JFK-Bogotá on a one-stop basis via Atlanta, as well as providing convenient travel options to Bogotá from New York’s LaGuardia and Newark airports and scores of additional cities served from Delta’s large Atlanta hub.

Delta proposes to commence its second daily Atlanta-Bogotá flight on or about January 17, 2010, and accordingly requests that this motion be granted without delay.

Counsel: Delta, Sascha Van der Bellen, 202-842-4184



October 9, 2009

Answer of Spirit Airlines in Opposition to Motion of Delta Air Lines

Spirit Airlines, Inc. strongly objects to the Motion of Delta Air Lines to reallocate seven frequencies, specifically awarded by the Department for nonstop service in the New York JFK-Bogotá city-pair market. Instead, Delta now wants to use these seven frequencies to double its Atlanta-Bogotá service. Delta would have the Department ignore its six month effort to fairly allocate these hard bargained for frequencies based on the Department’s assessment of how these scarce frequencies would best benefit maximize the traveling public. Ignoring its earlier arguments and the public interest for its own convenience, Delta now states as justification, that New York passengers will still have one-stop service to Bogotá via Atlanta.

Given that Delta has been in the market less than ten months, perhaps it has not put enough effort into developing and promoting its service to the public.

Under the specific circumstances of this proceeding, Spirit respectfully submits that having convinced the Department that its nonstop JFK-Bogotá service would provide the most consumer benefits of the many service proposals offered by other carriers, Delta must either continue that service or return the frequencies for immediate reallocation, as Continental did when it discontinued Houston-Cali service last year. See Docket OST-2005-20150. If Delta is not prepared to continue its nonstop JFK-Bogotá service, Spirit believes the Department should immediately commence a proceeding to select another carrier that is prepared to provide this service.

Counsel: Kirstein & Young, Joanne Young, 202-331-3348



October 13, 2009

Answer of American Airlines in Opposition to Motion of Delta Air Lines

American Airlines, Inc. hereby answers in opposition to the motion filed on October 1, 2009 by Delta Air Lines, Inc. seeking "flexibility" to shift to Atlanta the seven weekly US-Colombia frequencies the Department awarded to Delta for nonstop service between New York JFK and Bogota (final Order 2008-5-27, May 21, 2008).

In an application we are filing today in a separate docket, American is requesting re-allocation of Delta's seven frequencies which we will use to operate nonstop service in the JFK-Bogota market.

The Department's compelling findings on the need of the New York JFK-Bogota route for US-flag nonstop service, coupled with Delta's underutilization of valuable limited entry rights, establish that the public interest will be best served by re-allocating seven frequencies from Delta to American so that the New York JFK-Bogota route will have US-flag nonstop service.

Counsel: American, Carl Nelson, 202-496-5647

American's JFK-Bogota Frequencies Application - October 13, 2009



OST-2007-0006
OST-2009-0255 - American - Allocation of Seven Weekly US-Colombia Combination Frequencies (JFK-Bogota)

October 15, 2009

Consolidated Response of Delta Air Lines

Delta has determined that the most efficient and productive use of these frequencies for the upcoming winter season is at Atlanta, rather than New York. However, Delta has every intention of resuming service at JFK. JFK is Delta’s second-largest international hub, and Delta is firmly committed to New York marketplace with a number of long term strategic network and infrastructure improvements currently underway. That said, service this winter from JFK would be significantly sub-optimal for Delta, would be revenue-negative for the network, and would benefit fewer passenger than the alternative service from Atlanta.

Delta’s frequencies are not available for reallocation. Delta is using the frequencies at JFK in accordance with the terms of its award, and is prepared to continue to do so if the Department does not act favorably on Delta’s motion. However, to deny Delta the limited flexibility it seeks to optimize the use of its seven frequencies is contrary to the public interest. It would be particularly ironic in light of the unfettered discretion American continues to enjoy with its 35 unrestricted frequencies – especially considering the “blocking and tackling” American has engaged in with their use. The Department ultimately became sufficiently frustrated with American’s shell game tactics that it recently reclaimed 7 Colombia frequencies from American and reallocated them to another carrier (Order 2007-12-21).

Here, Delta has sought advance permission for its proposed alternative frequency use at Atlanta (as it is required to do) and provided sound commercial and public interest reasons for why the relief should be granted. In response, American and Spirit submitted excited and breathless objections, enshrining the sanctity of the Department’s route case proceeding and paying false homage to obvious fact that these frequencies were originally allocated for service at New York (American also submitted a frivolous and irrelevant application for frequencies that are being used and will continue to be used by Delta regardless of the Department’s decision on Delta’s motion. American’s application should be dismissed out of hand). Those objections are entirely beside the point. While the Department’s decision a year and a half ago to award Delta JFK-Bogotá frequencies was in the public interest, so too is granting the flexibility Delta needs to optimize those frequencies in its network based on current circumstances.

Spirit’s contention that American’s self-initiated and unauthorized move of its JFK-Sao Paulo frequencies (which were subsequently put at issue in a route case) presents the “identical situation” -- has it exactly backward. Delta is seeking the very permission American failed to request -- and Delta will only use its frequencies at Atlanta if its motion is granted. Moreover, the Department subsequently decided that such rigid conditions on Brazil frequency awards were not in the public interest and later revised its policy to permit allocated U.S.-Brazil frequencies to be used in any eligible city-pair market (Order 2004-6-25). A modest relaxation of Delta’s frequency condition to allow service at Atlanta is clearly in the public interest – considering the larger number of frequencies and greater flexibility already enjoyed by the more established incumbents.

Counsel: Delta, Sascha Van der Bellen, 202-842-4184



Order 2009-11-3
OST-2007-0006 - US-Colombia Combination Frequency Allocation Proceeding

Issued and Served November 3, 2009

Order Denying Motion

By this Order, we deny the motion of Delta Air Lines, Inc. to use seven of its US-Colombia frequencies to serve Bogota from Atlanta as well as from New York.

We have decided to deny Delta’s motion. Delta was awarded the frequencies at issue here in a highly contested carrier selection proceeding and based upon a complete evidentiary record in which applications for multiple US-Colombia routes were considered by the Department, along with additional responsive pleadings filed by the interested parties. Additional Atlanta-Bogota service was not considered as part of that record.

We selected Delta’s proposal because of the specific public benefits nonstop New York (JFK)-Bogota service would provide in terms of remedying service and competitive deficiencies in the US-Colombia market. Specifically, Delta’s proposal added Colombia service to the underserved New York metropolitan area, which was second only to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market in terms of origin and destination traffic, but had significantly less nonstop service available. In addition, Delta’s proposal provided the first nonstop service offered by a US-flag carrier between New York (JFK) and Bogota, furnishing meaningful competition with the daily nonstop service operated by the Colombian-flag carrier Avianca at New York (JFK), as well as with Continental’s Bogota service from New York/Newark.

In the particular circumstances presented and on the basis of the grounds put forth in Delta’s motion, we are not willing to allow Delta to select at its discretion a different US gateway for service to Bogota from that awarded in the recently concluded 2007/2008 Proceeding, as doing so would defeat the Department’s rationale for selection of Delta over other competing applicants. We, therefore, deny Delta’s motion. We fully expect that Delta will, as it indicated in its consolidated reply, continue to operate these frequencies within the terms and conditions under which they were allocated.

By: Susan Kurland


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