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OST-97-2610

U.S. – Russia Overflight Rules

OST-97-2610 (50326) | June 10, 1997 (Available June 12, 1997)

Motion to File an Otherwise Unauthorized Document / Answer of Polar Air to United Air Lines

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Due to the geographic location of Finland in relation to New Delhi, India, the circumnavigation of Russian airspace is far more time consuming and costly. In contrast, there are slim or no cost and time benefits for carriers overflying Russia on flights between London or Amsterdam, on the one hand, and Mumbai and New Delhi, on the other. These contrasts, and their impact on the public interest, would be borne out in an allocation proceeding. Indeed, it may be shown that the overflight frequencies in question are unnecessarily oversubscribed. In Polar's case, however, the economics of operations via Russian airspace have permitted the launch of a round-the-world all-cargo service; their continuation would permit Polar Air to expand the only scheduled freighter service conducted by a U.S. carrier in the U.S.-India market.

Counsel: Polar, Kevin Montgaomery, 202-785-1995


U.S. – Russia Overflight Rules

OST-97-2610 (50326) | June 13, 1997

Amended Application of Northwest Airlines and Motion for Leave to File

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Under the circumstances, there is no reason for the Department not to allocate to Northwest the 8 frequencies it herein requests. Northwest recognizes that the Department may have some concern about allocating Northwest 2 frequencies which Northwest intends to utilize on ad hoc basis only. Any such concern could easily be alleviated, however, by allocating 2 of the 8 frequencies Northwest requests on a pendente lite basis only. The Department then would retain the ability to reallocate these 2 frequencies in the event another carrier comes forward with a proposed usage of the frequencies which the Department determines to be superior to Northwest’s ad hoc usage.

Counsel: Northwest, Megan Rae Poldy, 202-842-3193


U.S. – Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 | June 16, 1997

Consolidated Response of United Air Lines and Motion for Leave to File

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Now that the FAA has opened Afghanistan airspace to U.S. carrier operations, there is no need to waste fuel and suffer other useless expense to operate over the more circuitous southern routes. Since the FAA opened Afghanistan airspace on May 9, 1997, United has operated daily flights between Delhi and London which could have benefitted from the more direct routings now available. United urges that it be granted immediately the Russian overflight frequencies it needs in order to avoid the unnecessary expenditure associated with operations via the more southerly routes as well as the unnecessary inconvenience to its Delhi-London passengers.

Counsel: United and Ginsburg Feldman, Joel Burton, 202-637-9130


U.S. – Russia Overflight Rights (New – Notice of Action Taken)

OST-97-2610 (50326) | Posted June 26, 1997 (from Office of Intl Aviation)

Notice of Action

Consistent with our standard practice, the overflight allocations awarded are subject to the condition that they will expire automatically and the overflights will revert back to the Department if they are not used for a period of 90 days. The dormancy period will begin immediately with respect to the allocations to Polar and United as these carriers either are already using the overflights (in the case of Polar) or plan to use them immediately (in the case of United). The 90-day dormancy period for Northwest's allocation of 6 weekly frequencies will begin October 1, 1997, Northwest's proposed start-up date for its U. S.-Delhi service. We decided not to impose a dormancy condition on the two frequencies that Northwest stated it would operate on an occasional basis only. Our allocation of these frequencies, however, is subject to the condition that should another carrier seek to use the overflight rights on a more regular basis, we would withdraw the allocation of these two frequencies from Northwest, thereby ensuring maximum use the available nghts.

As a result of our decisions here, 23 of the 28 available overflight frequencies have been allocated and 5 remain available for future allocation.

United's request for immediate action on its application was submitted in the form of a motion. In addition, various pleadings in response to United's request were accompanied by motions to file out of time, or to file otherwise unauthorized documents. We granted all motions.

Finally, given that neither Delta nor Tower sought to pursue their applications, we dismissed them without prejudice to the earners refiling for allocation of overflight frequencies at a later date.

By: Paul Gretch


Order Confirming Notices of Action Taken

Order 97-7-33 | Issued July 30, 1997 | Served August 5, 1997

Order


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights / Northwest Airlines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 | April 23, 1998

Renewal Application of Northwest Airlines and Request for Waiver

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By this application, Northwest asks that the Department renew Northwest's allocation of 8 weekly one-way Russia overflight frequencies for an additional year. Northwest understands that the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") is presently revisiting its Afghanistan overflight restriction, which currently permits U.S. carriers to overfly only the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, and that it is likely that the FAA will widen the Afghanistan airspace through which U.S. carriers may transit. Since the optimal routing for service from Europe to Delhi is through Russia and Afghanistan airspace, any FAA action that opens additional Afghanistan airspace to U.S. carriers will make the Russian overflight frequencies more functional. In addition, it would reduce the costs of each flight for Northwest and significantly reduce the flight time for Northwest's customers.

Service List

Counsel:  Norhtwest, Megan Rae Poldy, 202-842-3193


Polar Air Cargo, Inc. (US-Russia Overflight Rights)

OST-97-2610 | April 29, 1998

Application for Renewal of Frequency Allocation

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Polar has continued to operate its weekly flight over a New York-Gander (tech stop) -Helsinki- Delhi-Singapore-Hong Kong- Khabarovsk-Anchorage-Chicago-New York round-the-world routing. This flight operates from Helsinki to Delhi once a week over Russian territory, using the one (1) weekly eastbound frequency allocated to Polar in Order 97-7-33.

Service List

Counsel:  Polar, Kevin Montgomery, 202-785-1995


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights / United Air Lines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 | 50326 | April 30, 1998

Renewal Application of United Air Lines and Request for a Waiver

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United now understands that the FAA is reviewing its Afghanistan overflight restriction and is considering widening the Afghanistan airspace available to U.S. carriers. United is therefore asking the DOT to renew the allocation for an additional year. During that time, United will review whatever expansion of the Afghanistan overflight corridor is ultimately permitted by the FAA.  In addition, United also requests that the renewal include a dormancy provision of 150 days in lieu of the 90 days in the present allocation. Due to wind patterns that change depending on the time of year, it is customary for carriers to vary their routes between Europe and the Indian Subcontinent during the summer or winter season. Thus, it is conceivable that Russia overflights may be used only during winter months, but not during spring or summer months, depending on prevailing wind patterns. The instant request for a dormancy provision of 150 days would accommodate such an operational variance caused by seasonal atmospheric conditions and avoid the need to seek repeated waivers of the dormancy condition to accommodate routing variations.

Service List

Counsel:  United and Ginsburg Feldman, Joel Burton, 202-637-9130


Northwest Airlines, Inc. / Polar Air Cargo, Inc. / United Air Lines, Inc. (New US-India Afghan Overflight Frequencies) - (New Notice of Action Taken)

OST-97-2610 | Filed April 23, 29, and 30, 1998 (Respectively) | Action Taken July 9, 1998

Notice of Action

We decided to grant all of the applications. Polar is using its allocation and we found that continued allocation of its weekly frequency was in the public interest. We also found that allocations to Northwest and United were warranted. Subsequent to the filing of these applications and as discussed above, the FAA again amended its flight prohibition over Afghanistan to permit another ATS routing that is adjacent to the Wahkan Corridor. This new routing could facilitate use by Northwest and United of the requested Russian overflight frequencies. We believe that Northwest and United should be permitted another opportunity to use the overflights under these new circumstances.

We have decided to dismiss the requests of Northwest and United to waive or amend the dormancy condition. The carriers had sought the waiver prior to the FAA's action expanding the Wahkan Corridor. Given the FAA's decision to widen the permissible ATS routing over Afghanistan, we regard the waiver as no longer necessary. Should the carriers subsequently experience problems with viable routings, they would be free to seek relief from the dormancy condition at that time.

Applicant Rep(s).: Megan Poldy for Northwest, 202.842.3193; Kevin Montgomery for Polar, 202.785.1995; Joel Burton for United, 202.637.9130


Applications of Amerijet International, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Northwest Airlines, Inc., Polar Air Cargo, Inc., United Air Lines, Inc., and United Parcel Service Co.

Order 98-7-21 | Issued July 29, 1998 | Served August 4, 1998

Order

By: Paul Gretch


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 | September 1, 1998

Motion of United Air Lines for Amendment or Waiver of Dormancy Condition

United hereby requests the Department to amend the dormancy condition applying to its U. S.-Russia overflight right allocation (Order 98-7-21) to provide that the 90-day dormancy condition begin to run from the date of modification of the Federal Aviation Administration's SEAR 67, as amended effective August 21, 1998, 63 Fed. Reg. 45658 (August 26, 1998) to allow U. S. carrier overflights over the territory of Afghanistan. In the alternative, United requests a waiver of the dormancy conditions to extend the deadline of the dormancy period for one year from the present date of September 15, 1998, to September 15, 1999.

Counsel:  United and Kirkland Ellis, Jeffrey Manley, 202-879-5161


US Russia Overflight Rights

OST 97-2610 September 15, 1998  

Motion of Northwest Airlines for Amendment or Waiver of Dormancy Conditions

Service List

US-Russia Dormancy

Northwest Airlines, Inc.  hereby asks that the Department amend the dormancy condition imposed by Order 98-7-21 upon six of Northwest's eight U.S.-Russia overflight frequencies to provide that the 90-day dormancy condition attached to these six overflight rights begin to run on the date the FAA lifts its current ban on overflight of Afghanistan airspace.  In the alternative, Northwest requests a one-year extension of the expiration of the dormancy condition currently attached to six of its eight U.S.-Russia overflight frequencies, until September 15, 1999. United filed a similar motion in this docket on September 1, 1998. Northwest has no objection to the Department's grant of the relief requested by United so long as Northwest is granted identical relief.

Counsel Megan Poldy, 202.842.3198


Northwest Airlines, Inc. / United Air Lines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed September 15, 1998

Action Taken September 17, 1998

Notice of Action

By Order 98-7-2 the Department allocated Northwest and United, respectively, eight and fourteen weekly Russian overflight frequencies for their U.S.-lndia services. These awards were subject to the condition that they will expire automatically and the overflight frequencies will revert to the Department for reallocation if they are not used for a period of 90 days. Under the terms of the order, these overflight allocations would expire on September 15, 1998, if the carriers did not use the overflights by that date.

Northwest and United seek amendment of the 90-day dormancy condition so as to provide that the 90-day dormancy condition would begin to run from the date that the Federal Aviation Administration modifies its prohibition on flights operating over Afghanistan to permit U.S. carrier overflights.

Applicant Rep(s).: Megan Poldy for Northwest, 202.842.3193; Jeffrey Manley for United, 202.879.5161


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights / Polar Air Cargo, Inc.

OST-97-2610 October 8, 1998 Motion of Polar Air Cargo for Amendment of Dormancy Condition US-Russia Overflight Rights

Polar Air Cargo, Inc. ("Polar") hereby requests the Department to amend the dormancy condition applying to its U.S.-Russia overflight right allocation (Order 98-7-21) to provide that the 90-day dormancy condition begin to run from the date of modification of the Federal Aviation Administration's SPAR 67, as amended effective August 21, 1998, 63 Fed. Reg. 45658 (August 26, 1998), to allow U.S. carrier overflights over the territory of Afghanistan. In support of its request, Polar submits the following:

Counsel:  Polar, Kevin Montgomery, 202-785-1995


Polar Air Cargo, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed October 8, 1998
Action Taken October 22, 1998
Notice of Action Taken Russian Overflight Frequency for US-India via Helsinki

We have decided to grant Polar's request to amend the dormancy condition. The carrier has demonstrated an interest in using its allocated overflight frequency and, except for unique circumstances beyond its control, it states that it would be using them. Since we cannot determine here when the FAA may again permit U.S. carriers to use Afghanistan airspace for their services, we believe that the requested relief from the dormancy condition is warranted. Based on our decision in this case, the dormancy condition for Polar will now be the same as the other U.S. carriers holding Russian overflight allocations. It will now read: "The overflight allocations awarded are subject to the condition that they will expire automatically and the overflight frequencies will revert to the Department if they are not used for a period of 90 days after the date that the FAA modifies SPAR 67 to permit U.S. carrier overflights over the territory of Afghanistan."

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 April 13, 1999 Application to Renew Frequency Allocation US-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

This will be the first nonstop service between India and the U.S. operated by any carrier. This service will improve services to India not only from Chicago but will offer additional competitive choices for other North American cities served by United over Chicago, including those on the East Coast such as New York. United will operate these services with B747-400 aircraft equipped with enhanced Pratt & Whitney Phase 3 engines. These flights will have elapsed times between Chicago and Delhi of approximately 15 hours. That is a 3 hour savings over current service.

Counsel:  United and Kirkland Ellis, Jeffrey Manley, 202-879-5161, jeffrey_manley@kirkland.com


Polar Air Cargo, Inc.

OST-97-2610 April 15, 1999 Application for Renewal of Frequency Allocation US-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

Polar Air Cargo, Inc. requests renewal of the one (1 ) weekly eastbound Russia overflight frequency it was awarded to operate between Europe and the Indian subcontinent pursuant to the U.S./Russia bilateral air services agreement. Polar's frequency allocation was last renewed by Order 98-7-21 and is scheduled to expire on June 16, 199'3. This frequency was used to support the Helsinki-Delhi sector of a Polar round-the-world cargo service prior to the closing of Afghanistan airspace to U.S. carriers last year. Polar invokes the automatic renewal provisions of Part 377 of the Department's Special Regulations to continue this authority in effect pending a final Department order on this renewal application pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. §558(c).  Polar was initially allocated one (1) eastbound Europe-India Russia overflight frequency on November 21, 1996. That allocation was made on a pendente lite basis in circumstances where there were at that time more applicants for these Russia overflight frequencies than there were frequencies available under the U.S./Russia agreement. The other applicants were unable to use the frequencies, however, due to Afghanistan overflight prohibitions. Polar, on the other hand, was able to operate the Helsinki-Karachi sector of its round-the-world flight without overflying Afghanistan and was able to use the Russian overflight frequency starting in November 1996.

Counsel:  Polar, Kevin Montgomery, 202-785-1995


U.S.-Russia Overlfight Rights / Northwest Airlines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 May 4, 1999 Renewal Application of Northwest Airlines US-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

Northwest inaugurated daily service between the U.S. and India, via Amsterdam, on the week beginning October 1, 1997. Northwest presently operates three weekly U.S.-Amsterdam-Delhi roundtrips and four weekly roundtrips between the U.S. and Mumbai, via Amsterdam. Northwest, however, is unable to utilize its Russia overflight frequencies at this time due to the FAA's complete ban of all Afghanistan airspace to U.S. carrier operations.

Counsel:  Northwest, Megan Rae Poldy, 202-842-3193


Russian Overflight Frequencies / United Air Lines, Inc. / Polar Air Cargo, Inc. / Northwest Airlines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Issued May 25, 1999 Notice of Action Taken Russian Overflight Frequencies

Polar requests renewal of one weekly eastbound Russia overflight frequency to operate between Europe and the Indian subcontinent via Helsinki, Finland; United seeks renewal of 14 weekly Russia overflight frequencies to provide daily nonstop services between Chicago, Illinois, and Delhi, India via European and Russian airspace; and Northwest seeks renewal of eight weekly Russia overflight frequencies to operate between points in Europe and the Indian subcontinent. The overflight frequencies allocated to Polar and Northwest involve routings over Afghanistan. Because of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restrictions that remain in effect on such Afghanistan overflights, these carriers are not able now to use their Russia overflight frequencies. Due to these unique circumstances, the Department has waived the standard dormancy condition imposed on these overflight frequency allocations until the FAA reauthorizes flights over Afghanistan. In United's case, it has stated that to it intends to start using its overflight frequencies on October 31, 1999, without flying over Afghanistan airspace.

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 January 7, 2000 Application of United Air Lines for Waiver of Dormancy Condition U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

United subsequently determined that it could not efficiently utilize its frequency allocation without overflying Afghanistan territory. United, therefore, has not used its allocation, and the frequencies are set to revert to the Department on January 29, 2000, absent a waiver. Due to the operational impediments imposed by the FAA's Afghanistan overflight ban, the Department has granted two other carriers - Northwest Airlines and Polar Air Cargo - a waiver of the dormancy condition applicable to their frequency allocations that will remain in effect until such time as the FAA reauthorizes flights over Afghanistan. See Notices of Action Taken dated May 25, 1999, October 22, 1998, and September 17, 1998.3 Because United is also subject to the same operating constraints as these carriers with respect to its use of Russian overflight frequencies, and for the sake of administrative efficiency, United respectfully requests a dormancy waiver of the same scope as that granted to Northwest and Polar. The requested dormancy waiver will afford United the same protection as Northwest and Polar have received.

Counsel:  Kirkland Ellis, Jeffery Manley, 202.879.5161, jeffery_manley@kirkland.com


United Air Lines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed January 7, 2000
Issued January 28, 2000
Notice of Action Taken U.S.- Russia, Afghanistan

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 July 21, 2000 Application of United Air Lines for Waiver of Dormancy Condition U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights
    Attachment:  Press Release 5/18/00  
    Service List  

On May 18, 2000, United announced that it plans to resume its "Round the World" service on April 1, 2001. United will utilize its Russia overflight frequencies on the Delhi-London segment of that service, which United will operate on a daily basis, also linking Washington, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. On May 20, 2000, United opened these services for sale. United requests a waiver of the dormancy condition until April 1, 200 1, in order to operate these round-the-world flights through Russian airspace.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com 


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rules

OST-97-2610 July 27, 2000 Application of Northwest Airlines for Waiver of Dormancy Condition US-Russia Overflight Rules
    Service List  
OST-97-2610 July 27, 2000 Application of Northwest Airlines for Temporary Allocation of Unused Frequencies  
    Service List  

Counsel:  Northwest, Megan Rae Rosia, 202-842-3193


United Air Lines, Inc. and Northwest Airlines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed July 21, 2000
Filed July 27, 20000
Issued August 7, 2000
Notice of Action Taken United States- Russia Overflight Rights

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 August 11, 2000 Answer of United Air Lines U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

In addition to the 22 one-way Russia overflight frequencies allocated to United and Northwest, there are six additional frequencies. Five of these were allocated to Delta Air Lines, Inc. and one to Polar Air Cargo, Inc. in this docket. United understands that Polar has returned its single frequency to the Department. United also understands that Delta has not used its five frequencies for U.S.-Frankfurt-Mumbai service and that those frequencies have become dormant and reverted to the Department., There are, therefore, six unused and unallocated Russia overflight available for allocation to Northwest that would enable that carrier to increase its U.S.-Amsterdam-Delhi services to daily.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com 


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
August 16, 2000 Application for Exemption of Delta Air Lines U.S.-Russia; U.S.- Frankfurt, Germany - Delhi, India
    Service List  

On June 1, 2001, Delta will resume nonstop service between Frankfurt, Germany and Delhi, India. Delta plans to operate a pattern of daily service, and therefore requires a total of fourteen (14) Russian overflight frequencies to operate on most efficient routing via Russian airspace.

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.63.8060

OST-97-2610 August 17, 2000 Motion for Leave to File and Reply of Delta Air Lines U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

On July 27, 2000, Northwest Airlines, Inc. ("Northwest") filed an application seeking a temporary allocation of six (6) Russian overflight frequencies held by United Air Lines, Inc. ("United"). In its answer of August 11, 2000, United does not dispute that its Russia overflight frequencies are unused and dormant. However, rather than acceding to Northwest's temporary request, United asks the Department instead to reallocate the five Russia overflight frequencies awarded to Delta Air Lines, Inc. ("Delta") in docket OST-99-5286

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.63.8060

OST-99-5286 August 17, 2000 Application for Renewal of a Dormancy Waiver and Request for Waiver of Timely-Filing Requirement of Federal Express Corporation U.S.-Russia
    Service List  

Application of Federal Express Corporation, for renewal of an existing waiver of the 90-day dormancy condition applicable to its allocation of twelve (12) Russia all-cargo Overflight Frequencies so as to authorize Federal Express to delay the inauguration of its utilization of seven (7) of those Overflight frequencies for up to one year until September 1, 2001

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Nathaniel Breed, 202.63.8060


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
August 18, 2000 Re:  Supplemental Service List of Delta Air Lines U.S.-Russia; U.S.- Frankfurt, Germany - Delhi, India

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.63.8060


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rules

OST-97-2610 August 25, 2000 Motion for Leave to File and Consolidated Reply of Northwest Airlines U.S.- Russia Overflight Rules
    Service List  

Northwest currently is the only U.S. combination carrier serving India, and therefore is the only carrier realistically positioned to utilize Russia overflight rights for services to the Indian subcontinent in the near term. Northwest presently operates daily service to India (3 weekly flights to Delhi and 4 weekly flights to Mumbai, all via Amsterdam). Effective October 29, 2000, Northwest will increase its daily U.S.-Amsterdam-India service by flying two daily roundtrips, with daily flights each to Bombay and Delhi. Northwest also was the first carrier to file with the Office of Foreign Asset Control for a license to make Afghanistan overflight.  Northwest hereby moves for leave to file this pleading. Such leave is warranted given the matters raised by United and Delta and will not prejudice any party.

Counsel:  Northwest, Megan Rae Rosia, 202-842-3193


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
August 31, 2000 Answer of United Air Lines U.S.- Russia Overflight
        Service List    

Delta recognizes that there are insufficient frequencies available under the U.S./Russia bilateral air services agreement to meet its needs. It, therefore, urges the Department to seek additional overflight frequencies in the negotiations with the Russian Federation that are scheduled to take place next month. Delta urges, specifically, that the U.S. seek an increase from 28 to 42 of the number of such overflight frequencies in order to accommodate daily operations between Europe and India by three U.S. carriers.  United supports this portion of Delta's application. If the U.S. government succeeds in obtaining additional frequencies, as Delta urges, then there would be no carrier selection issues raised by Delta's request for 14 such frequencies, assuming no other carrier applies.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com 

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
August 31, 2000 Motion for Leave to File and Response of Delta Air Lines US-Russia Overflight
    Service List  

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.663.8060


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
August 31, 2000 Motion for Leave to File and Response of Delta Air Lines U.S.- Russia Overflight
    Service List  

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.663.8060


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610
OST-99-5286
September 12, 2000 Response of United Air Lines and Contingent Motion for Leave to File U.S.- Russia Overflight
        Service List    

United is, however, constrained to respond to Delta's latest pleading to the extent that carrier persists in suggesting that Northwest should receive a temporary allocation of six of United's frequencies to enable Northwest to increase its Amsterdam-Delhi services this winter. Northwest has itself recognized that its allocation should come from the six dormant frequencies that have reverted to the Department and not from United's allocation. Consolidated Reply and Surreply of Northwest, dated August 25, 2000, in Docket OST-97-2610. Delta, nevertheless, continues to urge that any temporary allocation to Northwest come from United's frequency base rather than from the frequencies that have reverted to the Department.

Delta has offered no basis as to why it is prepared to be more generous with respect to a temporary reallocation of United's frequencies than it is with respect to those which Delta allowed to become dormant. In fact, if a temporary allocation to Northwest is necessary in the circumstances presented, it would be far more straightforward to make a pendente lite allocation to Northwest of the six reverted frequencies pending the Department's disposition of the carrier selection issues raised by the competing applications of Delta and Northwest. Indeed, even if Delta's frequencies had not reverted for dormancy,, it has no plan to use them until next June whereas United will begin using its frequencies in April. The six reverted frequencies could, therefore, be allocated for a longer temporary period than could those held by United, even if Delta still retained any vestigial interest in them. In conclusion, United urges that any temporary allocation that may be necessary to allow Northwest to proceed with its expansion plans effective October 29 be made on a pendente lite basis using the six dormant frequencies that reverted to the Department and not frequencies that have already been allocated to United.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com 


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 June 18, 2001 Application of United Air Lines for Waiver of Dormancy Condition U.S.- Russia Overflight
        Service List    

United Air Lines, Inc. ("United") hereby applies for a waiver of the 90-day dormancy condition attached to United's allocation of 14 weekly one-way Russia overflight frequencies to support United's services between the United States and India via Europe. United requests that the waiver remain in effect until the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") amends United's operations specifications to permit overflights through Afghanistan airspace.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com 


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 June 27, 2001 Answer and Motion for Expedited Treatment of Northwest Airlines U.S.- Russia Overflight
        Service List    

Northwest currently uses seven one-way Russia overflight frequencies to provide daily service from New Delhi to Amsterdam. If granted the additional six frequencies, Northwest would immediately use them to provide daily service from Bombay to Amsterdam. On July 27, 2000, Northwest filed an application for a temporary allocation of six of United's frequencies, which United was not using. Northwest's application stated that it was prepared to use the six frequencies immediately. Northwest stated that it would be willing to return the frequencies to United at such time when United was ready and able to use them.

Subsequent to filing its July 27, 2000 application, Northwest learned that Delta's five frequencies and Polar's one frequency had reverted to the Department. Those frequencies were subject to the Department's standard 90-day dormancy condition, and neither Delta not Polar had ever applied for or received a waiver of that condition. In an application filed August 16, 2000 in this proceeding, Delta had stated that, in light of the SFAR 67 prohibition on overflight of Afghanistan, Delta's dormancy condition must have been waived as a matter of “policy" and "Delta should be considered fully entitled" to the five frequencies. Unlike Northwest and United, however, Delta had never expressly requested or received a waiver tied to SFAR 67. In any event, since SFAR 67 expired on May 10, 2000, any such waiver would have expired on August 8, 2000 in the absence of a further waiver, such as was granted to Northwest and United.

In light of these facts, on August 25, 2000, Northwest filed a Motion for Leave to File and Consolidated Reply and Surreply. In that pleading, Northwest requested an allocation of the six dormant Russia overflight frequencies that had reverted to the Department. On August 31, 2000, Delta filed a response, in which Delta did not dispute that its five frequencies had reverted to the Department due to dormancy. Delta, instead, expressed its desire eventually to use the frequencies and stated that it planned to commence service from Frankfurt to Delhi using the five frequencies beginning June 1, 2001. To the best of Northwest's knowledge, however, Delta is not using the frequencies. Furthermore, Delta has had no authority to use the frequencies since they have reverted to the Department.

Counsel:  Northwest, Megan Rae Rosia, 202.842.3193


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights and United Air Lines

OST-97-2610 Filed June 18, 2001
Issued June 29, 2001
Notice of Action Taken U.S.- Russia Overflight

United has been allocated 14 weekly Russia overflight frequencies since July 1997. (Orders 97-7-33 and 98-7-2 1, and Notice of Action Taken dated May 29, 1999). These frequencies are subject to our standard 90-day dormancy condition. The frequencies involve routing of flights over Afghanistan. Because of various FAA operating restrictions involving flights over Afghanistan, the Department has granted United dormancy waivers with respect to its overflight frequencies. (See Notices of Action Taken dated January 28, 2000, and August 7, 2000.) Under the terms of the current waiver, United's frequencies would automatically revert to the Department if they are not used by June 30, 2001.

United now seeks a further waiver, stating that the FAA's prohibition on Afghanistan overflights has expired and United plans to resume its round-the-world service to India with flights operated over Afghanistan. United states that it has obtained the necessary license from the Department of Treasury for the Afghanistan overflights and has been in discussions with the FAA to address issues associated with amending its operations specifications to authorize overflights through Afghanistan airspace for this service.

To facilitate implementation of this service United requests that we extend the dormancy waiver until the FAA amends United's operation specifications to permit overflights through Afghanistan airspace, with the 90-day dormancy period beginning to run on the day United's operation specifications are amended.

Northwest filed an answer as well as a motion for expedited treatment on Northwest's pending application in this docket. Northwest states that it does not oppose United's application but urges the Department to promptly allocate to Northwest the six Russia overflight frequencies previously held by Delta and Polar that have reverted to the Department; or in the alternative, Northwest requests a temporary allocation of six of United's frequencies until such time as United is able to use them. Northwest also requests reallocation of one frequency it previously held that reverted to the Department.

Replies to Northwest's answer and answers to its motion for expedited treatment are due July 9, 2001. Since United's frequencies would automatically expire June 30, 200 1, we are granting a temporary waiver for procedural reasons to keep United's frequencies in force until we have an opportunity to consider the United and Northwest requests on a complete record.

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 July 9, 2001 Answer of Delta Air Lines US-Russia Overflight Rights

There is no merit to the overreaching presumption of Northwest’s motion that the available frequencies should be summarily awarded to Northwest. Delta’s proposed use of Russia overflight frequencies for service between Frankfurt and Delhi would be a more efficient and beneficial use of the available rights.

If the Department wants to promote a healthy and pro-competitive environment with three U.S. flag carriers operating service at Delhi, the Department should ensure that Delta has access to at least seven Russia overflight frequencies.  United holds 14 overflight frequencies and Northwest seven.  Another seven are currently available for allocation.  It would create an untenable competitive situation to expect Delta to compete at Delhi as the only carrier without any access to the superior Russia overflight routing.

By contrast, Northwest’s proposed use of Russia overflight frequencies for service from Amsterdam to Bombay is of questionable value.  In fact, it appears that an Amsterdam-Bombay routing via Russia and Afghanistan would be several hundred miles longer than the alternative track via Iranian airspace.   It would be contrary to the public interest to award Northwest overflight frequencies of doubtful benefit for Bombay service, so as to preclude a viable competitor at Delhi which requires the frequencies to implement its proposal.

Counsel:  Delta and Shaw Pittman, Robert Cohn, 202-663-8060

OST-97-2610 July 9, 2001 Answer of United Air Lines US-Russia Overflight Rights
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By its motion, Northwest seeks immediate allocation of the seven dormant Europe-India frequencies available to U.S. carriers for overflight of Russian territory. These frequencies had previously been allocated to Delta (five), Polar (one) and Northwest itself (one). United previously stated that it had no objection to the allocation of these dormant frequencies to Northwest.-" United assumed in taking that position, however, that Northwest was seeking seven frequencies in each direction to operate a daily roundtrip between India and Europe. It now appears that Northwest may be seeking a total of 14 frequencies, all of which it would use for westbound operations from India to Europe. Northwest now uses seven westbound frequencies for daily service from Delhi to Amsterdam and seeks seven additional westbound frequencies to operate daily westbound service from Bombay to Amsterdam. United opposes any allocation of seven additional westbound frequencies to Northwest which would give that carrier all 14 of the overflight frequencies that are available in that direction.

United urges the Department to award Northwest its full request for 14 frequencies but to limit the award to seven in each direction as is the case with United's allocation. If Northwest has no need for seven eastbound frequencies, then its request for seven additional frequencies should be denied, and those seven eastbound frequencies should remain available for allocation to another carrier that can use them.

Counsel:  United and Wilmer Cutler, Jeffrey Manley, 202-663-6670, jmanley@wilmer.com


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 July 13, 2001 Motion for Leave to File and Reply of United Air Lines to Answer of Delta Air Lines US-Russia Overflight Rights
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Delta did not oppose United's June 18, 2001, dormancy waiver application. Delta did, however, oppose Northwest's Motion, arguing that the Department must hold a comparative selection proceeding in which to weigh the competing applications of Delta and Northwest for the seven dormant eastbound frequencies. Although Delta failed to institute the Frankfurt-Delhi service it had planned to launch on June 1, 2001, Delta nevertheless asserts that it has a strong "long-term interest" in restoring Frankfurt-Delhi service.

Ironically, Delta questions at some length the benefits that Northwest could achieve by using Russia overflight frequencies for operations between Amsterdam and Bombay, in view of more efficient alternate flight paths. In 1999, Delta itself sought to acquire 14 Russia overflight frequencies (including nine of United's) for a comparable Frankfurt-Bombay operation. United at that time noted in response to Delta's request that Russia overflights were not needed for operations between Bombay and Europe. The Department made an interim allocation of nine United frequencies for Delta's Frankfurt­Bombay services but, at the time the interim allocation expired, the frequencies reverted to United over Delta's objection because Delta was unable to demonstrate that it ever used the frequencies for services over the Frankfurt-Bombay routing See Docket OST­99-5286. Delta has apparently now conceded United's point that neither Delta nor Northwest needs Russia overflight frequencies for Bombay-Europe services.

If, even in the absence of a firm start-up date for Delta's long-term service plans, the Department decides to entertain Delta's request to commence a proceeding in which to consider the relative merits of the Delta and Northwest applications, the Department nevertheless should not delay in granting a temporary dormancy waiver for United's separate frequency allocation. United stands ready to employ its frequencies as soon as its operations specifications are amended and foreign overflight approvals are granted. United's near-term plans for these frequencies have no bearing on the seven dormant eastbound frequencies currently being sought by Delta and Northwest.

Counsel:  United and Wilmer Cutler, Jeffrey Manley, 202-663-6670, jmanley@wilmer.com


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 July 18, 2001 Re:  Notice of Inclusion of Afghanistan in Dormancy Waiver to Meet New FAA Specifications U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights
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Pursuant to the undertaking in the Application of United Air Lines, Inc. dated June 18, 2001, in the above-referenced proceeding, this is to advise you that the FAA amended United's operations specifications on July 10, 2001 to include flights over Afghanistan. Based on this action, United can now clarify that the 90-day dormancy condition applicable to its Europe-India Russian overflight frequencies should be modified, consistent with its aforesaid Application, so as to run from that date. Under this waiver, United's frequencies would become dormant 90 days after July 10, 2001 (i.e., on October 8, 2001), unless United has begun overflights through Russian airspace using these frequencies on or before that date.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffrey Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights and United Air Lines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed June 18, 2001
Issue July 20, 2001
Notice of Action Taken U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rules

OST-97-2610 July 24, 2001 Motion for Leave to File and Consolidated Reply of Northwest Airlines U.S.- Russia Overflight Rules
    Service List  

Northwest again urges the Department, as it did last year and last month, to act expeditiously and grant the seven dormant Russia overflight frequencies to Northwest so that it may immediately begin using them for Bombay (Mumbai)-Amsterdam service. Delta has not presented a single valid reason why Northwest's request should be denied. United has raised a concern about directionality limitations under the U.S.-Russia agreement. That issue is addressed in part 2, below.

Counsel:  Northwest, Megan Rae Rosia, 202.842.3193


U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 July 25, 2001 Response of United Air Lines and Motion for Leave to File US-Russia Overflight Rights
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The Department in its Notice, dated July 20, 2001, in this proceeding extended the dormancy date of United's frequencies to August 6, 2001 "to provide sufficient time to consider the United and Northwest requests on a complete record." In light of Northwest's clarification of its position, there is no longer any need to adjudicate any issues relating to the unopposed dormancy waiver applicable to United's frequencies. While there may be a need to adjudicate issues arising from the requests of Northwest and Delta, neither of those requests affects either United's present allocation or United's application for a waiver of the dormancy condition.

Counsel:  Wilmer Cutler, Jeffery Manley, 202.663.6670, jmanley@wilmer.com  


United Air Lines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed June 18, 2001
Amended July 18, 2001
Issued July 30, 2001
Notice of Action Taken US-Russia Overflight Rights

By:  Paul Gretch


U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

OST-97-2610 August 2, 2001 Motion for Leave to File and Surreply of Delta Air Lines U.S.-Russia Overflight Rights
    Service List  

Delta opposes Northwest's proposed use of Russia overflight frequencies for Bombay-Amsterdam service. Northwest has failed to provide any evidence to support its claim that the use of Russia overflight frequencies for Bombay-Amsterdam service would produce "significant economies" compared to the shorter and more direct routings that are available via Iranian airspace.

In light of the fact that neither Delta nor United has been able to find a productive use for Russia overflight frequencies on its existing Bombay-Europe flights, Northwest's claims of "significant economies" should not be accepted without tangible flight plan evidence of the claimed time savings.

By contrast, Russia overflight frequencies are vitally important for Europe-Delhi services. The routings via Russia airspace are demonstrably shorter and more efficient - with a one-way time savings of approximately one hour and forty-five minutes in each direction over the next best alternative. The additional operating burden imposed on Delhi-Europe carriers without Russia overflight flights is so substantial that it is likely to have a preclusive effect on the introduction of new competitive services.

Whatever slight "efficiencies" (if any) Northwest might demonstrate for the Bombay-Amsterdam route are unlikely to approach the 1:45 time savings for Delhi-Europe flights. Northwest does not dispute Delta's estimate of the time savings for Delhi-Europe, and Northwest has offered no counter estimate of the efficiency benefits for its proposed Bombay service. In these circumstances, Northwest should not be permitted to occupy Russia overflight frequencies for a route with few efficiencies, at the expense of foreclosing new entry and competition at Delhi. In light of the complete absence of any demonstrated efficiencies, the Department needs to be mindful of the possibility that Northwest's request for Russia overflight frequencies may be motivated as much or more by competitive considerations to protect its flank at Delhi, as by any actual operational requirements for the Bombay route.

Counsel:  Shaw Pittman, Alexander Van der Bellen, 202.63.8060


Northwest Airlines, Inc.

OST-97-2610 Filed July 27, 2000
Issued August 24, 2001
Notice of Action Taken U.S.- Russia Overflight Rights

Delta opposes Northwest's proposed use of the overflight frequencies and motion for expedited treatment. Delta argues that given its application for Russia overflight frequencies for service between Frankfurt and Delhi, the Department is required to give comparative consideration to both applications. Delta maintains that it had hoped to begin Frankfurt-Delhi service on June 1, 2001, but due to constraints on the availability of Frankfurt slots, it was unable to implement its plans. Delta argues that Russia overflight rights are far less critical for service between Europe and Bombay as compared to Delhi, and Northwest should not be permitted to occupy Russia overflight frequencies for its Bombay-Europe services at the expense of service by another U.S. carrier. Delta also suggests that with the United States and Russia planning to hold bilateral talks this September, it would be appropriate for the United States to seek an overall expansion of overflight rights to accommodate the service needs of all U.S. carriers.

Russia overflight frequencies, so long as such allocation does not affect the ability of United to use its 14 frequencies to operate daily services in both directions. If Northwest's request here for the additional 7 overflight frequencies were granted and it operates all 14 of its frequencies in the westbound direction as proposed, United states that it would affect United's ability to operate on the most efficient routings for its India-U.S. services.

In its reply, Northwest asserts that Delta failed to commence India service on June 1, 2001, after advising the Department that it would do so, that Delta has no firm plans to use the frequencies now, and thus, that Delta's request should not be given serious consideration or preclude grant of Northwest's application.

With respect to United's directionality concern, Northwest states that it has communicated with the State Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) of Russia regarding the possibility of waiving the directional limitation so as to allow at least a total of 21 of the Russia overflight frequencies in the westbound direction. Given the circumstances presented, Northwest stated that it would accept allocation of the 7 weekly frequencies requested contingent on the approval of the SCAA. Northwest further states that if the SCAA does not approve the use of more than a total of 14 frequencies westbound, the frequencies allocated to Northwest here would revert to the Department.

United responded that based on Northwest's consolidated reply it no longer opposes Northwest's application.

Northwest's allocation of 7 frequencies is subject to the further condition that if the State Civil Aviation Authority of Russia does not waive the agreement's directionality limitation so as to permit the operation of a total of at least 21 frequencies in the westbound direction, the 7 frequencies allocated Northwest here will revert automatically to the Department. We expect Northwest to provide written notification to the Department (a) that it has forrnally requested the directionality waiver from the SCAA, and (b) within 10 days after Northwest has been notified by the SCAA of its decision.

Remarks: Northwest has requested 7 frequencies, the number available, which it has firm plans to operate. Delta, on the other hand, has sought more frequencies than are available, and has no firm plans to use any of the frequencies at issue. In these circumstances, and consistent with the Department's policy to ensure that limited route rights are used, we found that approval of Northwest's request, as conditioned, was in the public interest.

Northwest proposes to use the 7 frequencies requested for westbound services. As a result, a total of 21 of the 28 authorized frequencies would be operated for westbound services (14 by Northwest, and 7 by United), which exceeds the number provided for in the aviation agreement. Northwest has stated that it would accept a contingent award of the frequencies and would return the frequencies for allocation to another carrier should the Government of Russia not approve its request for waiver of the directional provisions of the U.S.-Russia aviation agreement. We have so conditioned Northwest's award in this case.

By:  Paul Gretch


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