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OST-2014-0111 - Silk Way Airlines - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo Exemption and Permit

http://www.silkwaywest.com/

 

OST-2007-28603 - Silk Way Airlines - Foreign Air Carrier Permit - US-Azerbaijan Cargo Charters
OST-2007-28604 - Silk Way Airlines - Exemption - US-Azerbaijan Cargo Charters

 


Silk Way West Airlines


OST-2002-12556 - Designation of Agent for Service

April 7, 2014

Designation of Agent

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks

 

OST-1998-3305 - Passenger Manifest Information Plans

July 16, 2014

Passenger Manifest Information Plan

Counsel: Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks




OST-2014-0111 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

June 23, 2014

Application for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit and an Exemption

Exhibits - 4.7MB - Bookmarked

Silk Way West Airlines hereby applies for a foreign air carrier permit engage in (1) scheduled air transportation of cargo between any point or points in Azerbaijan, via intermediate points, and any point or points in the United States; and (2) charter air transportation of cargo between any point or points in Azerbaijan and any point or points in the United States, as well as any point or points in the United States and any point or points in a third country or countries subject to pertinent national, bilateral and international rules and regulations. Silk Way West intends to start operating the requested services as soon as the Department permits them, but no later than the winter season of 2014. Silk Way West intends to operate primarily its Boeing 747 freighter equipment, as well as any other aircraft that are currently in its fleet or as it may later acquire, in conjunction with its contemplated scheduled and charter services to the United States.

Silk Way West is an all-cargo airline that is now operating three Boeing 747-400F aircraft, and two (2) Boeing 767-300F aircraft. Silk Way West is also planning to add two Boeing 747-8F aircraft to its fleet in the second half of 2014.

Silk Way West plans to start its US operations with a scheduled cargo service between Baku, Azerbaijan and New York, New York.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

August 4, 2014

Additional Information Response

I'm reviewing the Silk Way West application. In the exhibits, I noticed that in Exhibit 4, a Mr. Zaur Akhundov owns 100% of Silk Way West Airlines through holding companies, but his citizenship is not stated. Please let me know his citizenship as soon as possible so that we can further process the application.

By: Dot, Darren Jaffe




Order 2014-8-15
OST-2014-0111
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

Issued and Served August 15, 2014

Order Granting Exemption and to Show Cause

We grant the request of “Silk Way West Airlines” Limited Liability Company for an exemption under 49 USC §40109 to permit it to engage in: 1) scheduled foreign air transportation of property and mail between Baku, Azerbaijan and New York, New York; and 2) charter foreign air transportation of property and mail between any point or points in Azerbaijan and any point or points in the United States; and 3) other charters in accordance with Part 212 of the Department’s economic regulations.

With respect to the applicant’s request for a foreign air carrier permit in this proceeding, we direct all interested persons to show cause why our tentative decision on that application, set forth above, should not be made final. Any interested person objecting to the issuance of an order making final our tentative findings and conclusions with respect to the applicant’s request for a foreign air carrier permit shall, no later than twenty-one calendar days after the date of service of this order, file with the Department.

By: Paul Gretch


 

October 8, 2014

Request to Amend Issued Exemption Authority and Pending Application for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit and Motion to Expedite Processing

On August 15, 2014, the Department, by Order Granting Exemption and to Show Cause (see Order 2014-8-15 in Docket OST-2014-0111) granted Silk Way West exemption authority to permit it to engage in scheduled foreign air transportation of property and mail between Baku, Azerbaijan and New York, New York, as well as the authority to engage in charter foreign air transportation of property and mail between any point or points in Azerbaijan and any point or points in the United States; and other charters in accordance with the requirements of 14 CFR Part 212. The Department also noted that it "will tentatively grant Silk Way west a foreign air carrier permit for these services."

The Department further indicated that since the aviation relations between the United States and Azerbaijan are governed by comity and reciprocity, consistent with its usual policy in those circumstances, it will grant the applicant the specific authority to operate the Baku-New York route specified in the application as intended initial route, rather than grant the broader scheduled authority requested in the application.

Silk Way West recognizes the Department's considerations in granting it the narrow scheduled authority to operate air transportation of property and mail between Baku, Azerbaijan and New York, New York, and is working to implement such operations.

However, in order to ensure greater economic efficiency and better benefit the current market of cargo air transportation, Silk Way West would like to hereby request that the exemption authority granted to it by Order 2014-8-15 in Docket OST-2014-0111 be expanded to allow it to implement scheduled air transportation of property and mail on the route Baku-Hong Kong-Chicago-New York-Luxemburg-Baku (with no US domestic cargo transportation between the points of Chicago and New York). Silk Way West further requests that, subject to favorable consideration by the Department of this Request, its foreign air carrier permit be issued accordingly.

Silk Way West further motions the Department for expedited consideration of this Request to Amend, and will poll the US carriers on the attached service list and will advise the Department of the results of the poll.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

October 20, 2014

Answer of National Airlines to Motion to Expedite Processing

National Air Cargo Group, Inc. d/b/a National Airlines respectfully responds to the motion of Silk Way West Airlines for expedited action dated October 8, 2014. Due to the extraordinary nature of the authority requested, and the lack of any showing of harm that would be caused by the normal answer period, National objects to the shortened objection period. National shall be filing answers to the applications to amend of Silk Way West due to problems it has encountered in Azerbaijan.

Counsel: Pierre Murphy, 202-776-3980


 

October 23, 2014

Answer of National Airlines to Request of Silk Way West's Application to Amend Issued Exemption

Other than a purported "greater economic efficiency" for its Baku-New York operation already authorized by the Department on principles of comity and reciprocity, Silk Way West has submitted no valid basis for an award of the additional, extraordinarily broad intermediate and beyond authority (Hong Kong & Luxembourg) it is again seeking and nothing has changed since the award to Silk Way West of Baku-New York authority. The Department should not change its initial decision to decline awarding the incredibly broad intermediate and beyond authorities sought by Silk Way West.

Clearly it is Silk Way West's intention to transport substantial Hong Kong-US and US-Luxembourg cargo, both major US all-cargo markets, but markets to which a carrier from a country where there is no governing aviation bilateral agreement has no basis to operate. As reflected in the Department's award of authority herein, there is no basis for the award of such substantial authority on the basis of comity and reciprocity which has not been demonstrated.

Further, in connection with the comity and reciprocity principles which apply to US-Azerbaijan aviation relations, National has on multiple occasions now been denied crew visas both in and out of Baku preventing and substantially hindering National's authorized operations in the region.

Under these circumstances, Silk Way West's application should be denied as being unduly broad and inconsistent with the applicable governing aviation principles.

Counsel: Pierre Murphy, 202-766-3980





October 24, 2014

Response of Silk Way West to Answer of National Airlines

National has offered scant substantive grounds for its response. Following National's initial filing, Silk Way West, through its senior executives, reached out to their counterparts at National to seek clarification ofNational's alleged concerns. Instead of responding with a specific concern that Silk Way West could promptly address, National chose to wait several days to file its answer through counsel. Given the actual amount of time required to draft a responsive pleading that can essentially be reduced to a single paragraph in substance, Silk Way West finds it hard to believe that this is anything more than an effort to game the Department's procedural rules to delay a decision for a short term business advantage for National.

Similarly, the suggestion by National in its initial filing that there are "problems it has encountered in Azerbaijan" has not in any way been substantiated by National in its second filing, and seems to be a gross overstatement. First, there is only one "problem" cited - namely that certain crew visas "in and out of Baku" have been denied. On its face, National fails to cite even one instance. Indeed, there is no allegation that there is currently a problem.

Visa matters do infrequently become problematic both for foreign carriers operating to the United States, and US carriers operating to other countries. However, predominantly, such problems are resolved through cooperative work of those carriers with the Consulates and other appropriate entities of respective countries. Upon inquiry, Silk Way West has been advised that National 's visa issues have consistently been resolved in Baku through appropriate channels. Specifically, in one case when at the end of January 2014 several flights by National were delayed in Baku for several days which caused the involved crews to outstay the 72-hour visa-free stay limit that was available to them, with the assistance of Silk Way West and Baku Logistics Center management, the issue was resolved with Azeri immigration authorities promptly and without any delay of the flight departures. Similarly, other instances of crews outstaying the 72-hour limit due to weather or other operational concerns of National were resolved by National's representatives in Baku. Silk Way West, in fact, notes that National's representatives in Baku have commended the level of cooperation and the level of support National has been receiving in its Baku operations.

Similarly, in cases when Azeri carriers have faced visa issuance problems for their crews flying to the United States, rather than attempting to use the issue as a basis to stop National or other US carriers' ongoing operations, they worked diligently with the US and Azeri consulates to establish a procedure to resolve the problem. Indeed, Silk Way West expects to do the same when it initiates its US services. Moreover, the fact that Silk Way West had to itself inquire to determine the nature of National' s objection, when National would indicate how little National is willing to exert itself - even when attempting to establish an objection before the Department of Transportation, is telling in itself. The DOT should not give weight to such lightly considered objections.

Therefore, it remains unclear to Silk Way West why National sees fit to object to Silk Way West's mere ability to initiate a meaningful and economically beneficial operation, based on that which is a common experience in both the US and other countries. That National has raised this to the level of an objection in a pending application for authority is irresponsible. Once again, this appears to be a thinly veiled delay tactic calculated to prevent Silk Way West from starting a timely and commercially sound operation during the traditional high season for cargo that would benefit the shipping public. This has a clear and actual harmful effect on the shipping public with no obvious redeeming value.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

October 29, 2014

Answer of Kalitta Air

Silk Way has set itself up as the gatekeeper of all air transportation (at least in the cargo sphere) in and out of Azerbaijan. The Silk Way Group owns and controls not only the Baku Cargo Terminal, but also the airport's ground handling, catering, maintenance and repair, duty free shop, business aviation and helicopter service, not to mention the Sheraton Baku, an insurance company and other concerns. Kalitta does not propose that Silk Way should be penalized for being such a successful conglomerate, but the fact remains that any airline wishing to do business in Baku has to go through Silk Way, and this has implications for the state of comity and reciprocity. Silk Way has exercised this very considerable power to ensure that anyone who wants to fly into Baku does so on their terms. Azerbaijan is not an open and competitive market for US air carriers - unless, of course, they contract with Silk Way.

The particular market that Silk Way is seeking in the referenced application happens to be a vital market for U.S. cargo carriers - the Hong Kong-United States market. US carriers such as Kalitta make a significant part of their annual revenue by servicing Hong Kong. This, however, itself is not an open and free market. The October 2002 Hong Kong-United States Memorandum of Understanding contains severe restrictions on the number of points at which carriers may exercise Fifth Freedom traffic rights, as well as the number of flights allowed. These "Hong Kong Fifth Freedom slots" are very valuable commodities for US carriers. It is not in the interest of the public or the US aviation industry for the United States to allow a foreign carrier into such a critical and restricted market when it has no bilateral basis for the request, and in fact actively restricts competition from other carriers through its dominance of the airport and all of its infrastructure and services.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513




October 29, 2014

Answer of National Air Carrier Association

The Department should not grant the expansive authority requested by Silk Way West for two reasons. First, the grant of expansive intermediate and beyond authority to an Azeri carrier in the absence of a meaningful bilateral aviation agreement reduces the chances of reaching such agreements in the future. Silk Way West has proposed to fly Boeing 747-400F and “brand new” Boeing 747-8F equipment on the round-the-world Baku-Hong Kong-Chicago-New York-Luxemburg-Baku routing. The ability to serve these Fifth Freedom US cargo markets is a significant commercial opportunity that would typically be available to carriers from countries with an open skies agreement with the United States. It should not be granted casually. Indeed, if the Department grants the authority, it would effectively open the US market to Azeri carriers without US carriers receiving the protections of a bilateral and liberalized aviation relationship with Azerbaijan.

Second, Silk Way West has not demonstrated that Azerbaijan adheres to the principles of comity and reciprocity with respect to the proposed services. Indeed, in its most recent pleading, Silk Way West admits that it has not done so: a “formal letter from the State Civil Aviation Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan...reiterating [its] adherence to the principles of comity and reciprocity in considering any similar applications form US carriers, is being currently transmitted to the Department.” More troublesome, however, is that NACA understands from its members that US carriers encounter difficulties conducting business in Azerbaijan. At least one member has reported difficulty obtaining visas for crew members. Other members report discriminatory pricing on cargo handling fees and fuel purchases. If a carrier operates to Azerbaijan pursuant to a contract with Silk Way West, these discriminatory fees do not apply. NACA carriers report that the discrimination is so severe that it makes operating to Azerbaijan uneconomic – unless the operations are conducted under the auspices of Silk Way West. It seems counter intuitive to grant broader authority to Silk Way West in the absence of a bilateral framework for resolving these doing-business issues. The frustration of U.S. carriers’ operations in Azerbaijan suggest the Department reached the correct conclusion when it determined that “sufficient reciprocity exists with Azerbaijan” to warrant grant of a oneyear exemption for New York-Baku service, but no more.

Counsel: Cooley LLP, Jonathan Hill, 202-842-7800


 

November 5, 2014

Consolidated Reply of Silk Way West Airlines to Answers of National Airlines, Kalitta Air and National Air Carrier Association

In its Request to Amend Silk Way West stated that it was requesting the broader authority and the expedited consideration of its request in order to ensure greater economic efficiency and a better benefit to the current market of cargo air transportation. Silk Way West further maintained that an expedited consideration and grant of its Request to Amend is in the public interest as Silk Way West will provide the much needed services in the U.S.-Azerbaijan aviation market, as well as in the broader international market of cargo air transportation by providing additional capacity and helping to meet the requirements for cargo air transportation services in the high season and peak demand. Silk Way West's ability to timely implement its service during the high season will also serve as a justification and incentive for its recent acquisition of brand new Boeing 747-8F aircraft.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

October 29, 2014

Answer of National Airlines to Request of Silk Way West to Amend Foreign Air Carrier Permit Pending Application

Other than a purported "greater economic efficiency" for its Baku-New York operation already authorized by the Department on principles of comity and reciprocity, Silk Way West has in its amended application submitted no valid basis for an award of the additional, extraordinarily broad intermediate and beyond authority (Hong Kong & Luxembourg) it is again seeking and nothing has changed since the award to Silk Way West of Baku-New York authority. The Department should not change its initial decision to decline awarding the incredibly broad intermediate and beyond authorities sought by Silk Way West.

Clearly it is Silk Way West's intention to transport substantial Hong Kong-US and US-Luxembourg cargo, both major US all-cargo markets, but markets to which a carrier from a country where there is no governing aviation bilateral agreement has no basis to operate. As reflected in the Department's original award of Baku-NY authority herein, there is any basis for the award of such substantial major 3rd country authority on the basis of comity and reciprocity which has not been demonstrated.

In its October 24 Response to National's Answer to Exemption application, Silk Way West accuses National of being "small-minded" and attempts to reprimand National for choosing to raise its bilateral problems in an Answer to Silk Way West's applications. However, far from being small-minded, in the absence of any bilateral aviation mechanism and National recognizing that it is "on its own" as far as the local treatment of its Azerbaijan operations, the only way for National to raise the local doing-business problems it has encountered is when an application for broad 3rd country authority on the basis of comity and reciprocity is filed by a carrier of Azerbaijan.

Further, in connection with the comity and reciprocity principles which apply to US-Azerbaijan aviation relations, National has on multiple occasions now effectively been denied crew visas both in and out of Baku due to unreasonable delays, thereby preventing and substantially hindering National's authorized operations in the region.

Counsel: Pierre Murphy, 202-776-3980


 

November 12, 2014

Surreply of Kalitta Air

The essence of Kalitta's answer was that Silk Way, its affiliates in the Silk Way Group, and the Government of Azerbaijan have created a system in place at the Baku Airport under which a US air carrier can only compete for charters if it has a contract, directly or indirectly, with Silk Way. If not, the "cargo handling charge" and fuel prices are inordinately high and blatantly discriminatory. The result is that Azerbaijan does not offer comity and reciprocity in any commercially meaningful sense.

Silk Way's defense against Kalitta 's contentions is that the extreme difference in handling fees and fuel prices is nothing more than the ordinary differential experienced by "signatory" versus "non-signatory" carriers at airports throughout the United States. These differences are not, according to Silk Way, "unreasonably" discriminatory, because under the Federal Aviation Administration "Policy Regarding Airport Rates and Charges," it is permissible to assess different rates on the basis of "reasonable distinctions among aeronautical users .... "

Silk Way's argument, however, totally ignores the vast discrepancy between the rates charged for those flights in which Silk Way has a stake, and those in which it does not. To reiterate the facts stated in Kalitta 's answer: when Kalitta operates a charter at Baku under a contract to DHL, which is under contract with Silk Way, it pays no "cargo handling charge."

Kalitta wishes to make two minor points in closing: (1) The carrier is baffled by why Silk Way would wish to bring individual personalities into this argument, referring to Mr. Ned Wallace and his "longstanding commercial contacts in Hong Kong ... ". Mr. Wallace is not even an employee of Kalitta, and in any event, this statement is inappropriate and irrelevant. (2) Kalitta finds gratuitous and insulting the innuendo that it is "another failing US carrier ... " Kalitta in fact has operated profitably for the past 14 years, and is continuing to do so.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513


 

Order 2014-11-11
OST-2014-0111 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

Issued September 8, 2014 | Served November 13, 2014

Final Order

By Order 2014-8-15, issued on August 15, 2014, we directed all interested persons to show cause why we should not make final our tentative findings and conclusions stated therein and award a foreign air carrier permit in the form attached to the Order and subject to the conditions attached thereto. We gave interested persons 21 days to file objections to the Order. We said that if no objections are filed, all further procedural steps shall be deemed waived, and the Department will enter an order (subject to Presidential review under 49 USC §41307) which will make final the findings and conclusions of the Order.

No objections were received within the time period provided.

By: Paul Gretch


 

December 1, 2014

Response of Silk Way West Airlines to Surreply of Kalitta Air and Motion for Leave to File

In its Surreply Kalitta Air LLC essentially restated its earlier arguments. In so doing, it did not provide additional new analysis for its opposition to Silk Way West’s pending Request to Amend Authority. Rather, Kalitta’s Surreply, has offered pricing data related to landing fees that are based on landings and take offs at US airports. This appears to be a tortured effort to compare legal precedent in the US that supports the proposition that disparate charges at airports is an acceptable practice with actual cargo handling fees that are based on handling and equipment services rendered at airports in the Caspian region. In short, Kalitta’s Surreply deliberately distorts the actual circumstances in Baku and attempts to lead the Department into a bilateral dispute for the narrow purpose of protecting its Hong Kong business. Given the facts restated in the Surreply as well as the aforementioned inconsistent price analysis, Silk Way West is compelled to reply so as to correct the record before the Department.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

December 22, 2014

Surreply of Kalitta Air

The real point of contention in this lengthy exchange of pleadings still remains clear, despite Silk Way's rhetoric: the "cargo handling fee" charged to US carriers for ad hoc operations over Baku, outside the established contracts in which Silk Way is a participant, is grossly out of proportion to the very reasonable rate charged under those contracts. This makes independent ad hoc charters completely non-competitive. Silk Way's attempts to minimize the significance of this difference only serve to amplify it.

Silk Way chides Kalitta for comparing the Baku cargo handling fee with landing fees at va rious US airports, saying that Kalitta is trying to mislead the Department with an inappropriate comparison . However, it was Silk Way that made this comparison in its November 5 filing . It said that the extreme discrepancy in handling fees at Baku are nothing more than the ordinary difference in landing fees experienced by "signatory" versus "non-signatory" carriers in the United States. Kalitta's response showed that this argument is specious. In fact, however, the comparison is not irrelevant. While "signatory" carriers naturally enjoy lower landing fees than do transient carriers, the difference is not dramatic, whereas the discrepancy in cargo handling fees at Baku is more than six-fold.

While Silk Way emphasizes that the EUR 0.50 (US$0.64) per kg. handling rate is "a published fee, but is subject to negotiation based upon airport use ," this is of no relevance to a US carrier that wishes to operate occasional charters at Baku, outside of an arrangement with Silk Way. The examples Silk Way gives of carriers that enjoy preferred rates are all scheduled carriers that operate more than daily service at the airport - hardly a meaningful comparison. Silk Way also claims that though Kalitta was charged the published 64-cent rate for its partial cargo load on a flight operated in April , had it operated with a full 100,000 kg . load , this rate "would have been discounted 50% off of the published rates, had [Kalitta] simply requested it. " Kalitta has no reason to accept this claim apart from Silk Way's say-so; the lower rates cited by the carrier all pertain to frequency of operation , not the size of the load. In fact, BCT quoted Kalitta only the published rate, did not indicate that any discount was available, and never even asked how large the planned load was. And in any event, a volume discount does nothing to make partial planeload charters competitive.

Kal itta fully understands that airports offer better rates on a variety of charges for carriers that are regular users. That "volume discount," however, is not what is represented by the royalty charged by the Baku Cargo Terminal.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513


 

January 13, 2015

Response of Silk Way West Airlines to Surreply of Kalitta Air and Motion for Leave to File

Kalitta repeats its allegation of a "grossly out of proportion" discrepancy between the published rates and the negotiated rates at Baku Airport creating a noncompetitive environment. That allegation is wrong. Kalitta persists in comparing its one experience as a one off charter operator with the high frequency arrangements enjoyed by many other carriers at Baku. What Kalitta is really saying is that it thinks that the published rates are too high and the negotiated rates based upon use are too low. Kalitta's position disregards reality that the free market appears to strongly disagree with the argument suggested by Kalitta. As evidenced by its continuous growth, Baku is, in fact, an attractive
and cost effective option in the region for cargo operations, including for Kalitta's one-off charter where it did receive reduced pricing after its request for it - a fact that Kalitta conveniently omitted from its initial filing before the Department and only addressed after Silk Way West pointed it out.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

March 4, 2015

Motion for Leave to File and Motion to Expedite Request to Amend Authority

In support of this request for expedited action Silk Way West hereby submits that it has provided exhaustive information in response to all comments raised in connection with its October 8, 2014 request to amend authority, and demonstrated that the commercial market considerations alleged by certain US carriers should not be accepted as having any impact on the principles of comity and reciprocity that currently govern the bilateral arrangements between the United States and Azerbaijan.

Silk Way West also once again notes the current stark imbalance in comity and reciprocity in favor of US carriers that involves extensive fifth freedom rights for carriage of third country cargo by multiple US cargo carriers, including the carriers raising unfounded objections against Silk Way West's proposed operations. The rights requested by Silk Way West would only slightly mitigate this imbalance and therefore should be promptly granted. Silk Way West reiterates that it is in fact asking for the rights that many US carriers already enjoy, and refutes any claim by any US carriers of any deficiency in reciprocity when Silk Way West is not being afforded the same opportunity in the United States that US carriers have been consistently enjoying in Azerbaijan.

Silk Way West also stresses its most productive role in seeking completion of the open skies negotiations between the United States and the Republic of Azerbaijan which are currently at the stage of finalization of certain technical issues not related to traffic rights. As such, its request should not be further delayed by the Department.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790




March 4, 2015

Answer of Kalitta Air

Silk Way again has shown no basis for the Department to reconsider its decision to not grant Silk Way's requested authority. On the contrary, as Kalitta Air and others have repeatedly shown, the operating environment for US air carriers at Baku, Azerbaijan continues to demonstrate protectionism and a lack of comity and reciprocity. US carriers, including Kalitta Air, continue to find the costs of operating at Baku to be highly uneconomical unless a carrier has a contractual relationship with Silk Way- in which case, the operating costs are dramatically lower. US carriers cannot compete under such circumstances. Azerbaijan is not an open and competitive market for US air carriers - unless, of course, they contract with Silk Way.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513


 

March 11, 2015

Answer of National Airlines to Silk Way West's Motion for Leave to File Motion to Expedite

Notwithstanding Order 2014-11-11, by a December 1, 2014 pleading, SWW initiated yet another round of responses, surreplies, etc., of which SWW's March 4, 2014 filing is but the latest.

In its latest pleading, SWW raises nothing new. A lack of comity and reciprocity for US carrier treatment continues to exist, and Azerbaijan continues to demonstrate protectionism. US carriers continue to find the costs of operations to Balm to be uneconomical unless, of course, a carrier has contracted with a Silk Way company, in which case costs are significantly lower. As has been demonstrated, US carriers are unable to compete in such a restrictive and anticompetitive environment.

Counsel: Pierre Murphy, 202-776-3980


 

May 5, 2015

Motion to Withdraw Answer and Surreplies of Kalitta Air

Kalitta Air , LLC hereby files this motion to withdraw its answer filed on October 29, 2014, and its surreplies filed on November 12, 2014 and December 22, 2014, objecting to Silk Way West Airlines' request to amend its exemption authority and pending application for a foreign air carrier permit. Kalitta no longer opposes Silk Way West's application and requests that the Department withdraw its answer and surreplies filed in the above-referenced docket.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513


 

April 12, 2016

Request to Amend Foreign Air Carrier Permit Authority and for an Exemption

Silk Way West Airlines, as an airline of Azerbaijan, requests authority to operate flights from points behind Azerbaijan via Azerbaijan and intermediate points to any point or points in the United States and beyond; and as an all-cargo service, between the United States and any point or points, including fifth, sixth and seventh cargo charters. Silk Way West Airlines intends to start operating the requested services as contemplated by the US-Azerbaijan Open Skies Agreement as soon as the Department permits them. Specifically, Silk Way West is planning to start a scheduled Chicago/ORD operation using the full scope of the US-Azerbaijan Open Skies Agreement rights in late May, and to begin operating on demand charter flights in the nearest future. Appropriate reciprocity letter from the State Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan is being submitted to Docket OST-2006-24269.

Silk Way West Airlines is fit, willing, and able to operate the services proposed by this application, as is evidenced by its operational history in the past year of its scheduled operatio ns between Baku, Azerbaijan and JFK International Airport, New York, NY.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks, 202-457-7790


 

April 15, 2016

Objection of National Air Cargo Group d/b/a National Airlines

On behalf of our client, National Air Cargo Group, Inc. d/b/a National Airlines, we write to object to Silk Way West Airlines LLC's apparent attempt to shorten the answer period for its application to amend its foreign air carrier permit and its related exemption filed on April 12, 2016. This is Silk Way West's second attempt to shorten the answer period without properly invoking the Department's procedures for expedited treatment, citing any authority, or providing any specific reasons that justifies a departure from the normal exemption application procedures.

National Airlines intends to proceed under the Department's Rules, 14 CFR Part 302, for the time to serve answers in foreign air carrier permit licensing proceedings and exemption proceedings. We respectfully request the Department deny any attempt by Silk Way West to shorten the Department's established process.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Graham Keithley, 202-663-8768


 

OST-2007-28603 - Foreign Air Carrier Permit - US-Azerbaijan Cargo Charters
OST-2014-0111
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

April 25, 2016

Second Amendment

Specifically, the last filing prior to Silk Way West's April 12, 2016 submission captioned above in Docket OST-2014-0111 was the May 5, 2015 Motion to Withdraw Answer and Surreplies of Kalitta Air; and the last filing prior to Silk Way's April 14, 2016 submission captioned above in Docket OST-2007-28603 was May 1, 2015 (registered on the Docket on May 4, 2015) Motion to Withdraw Answer of Kalitta Air, LLC. No disposition orders have to date been issued on the currently pending applications in either of the Dockets by the Department.

However, Silk Way and Silk Way West do not object to the twenty-one day response period requested by National in its Responses, as applicable under 14 CFR Part 302.204 for new applications under 14 CFR part 302.201 (2). Instead, rather than debate the application of the procedural rules on the response timing, Silk Way and Silk Way West urge the Department for expedition thereafter.

Silk Way and Silk Way West also stress that the history of the proceedings in the referenced Dockets appear to suggest that National may again, as it has done in the past 12 months, be attempting to game the system for delay rather than making an earnest effort to articulate and resolve any valid issue. Therefore, the Department should not delay the issuance of the requested authorities.

Azerbaijan has entered into an Open Skies Agreement with the United States in good faith, and, perhaps, National should itself act in good faith and pursue its own operations using the newly available bilateral framework without perpetuating adversarial proceedings with the sole goal of holding the other carriers from pursuing their planned operations.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks and Ekaterina Grimes


 

April 27, 2016

Objection of National Airlines to Request of Silk Way West to Amend Foreign Air Carrier Permit Authority and Exemption

National Air Cargo Group, Inc. d/b/a National Airlines objects to Silk Way West Airlines LLC’s request to amend its foreign air carrier permit and related request for an exemption filed in the above-referenced docket. The Application lacks the information required under the Department’s Rules, 14 CFR Part 211, necessary for issuance of an amended foreign air carrier permit. The Department should defer on the Application until the Application is complete and parties have had opportunity to review and comment on the full Application.

National Airlines acknowledges that Silk Way West may rely upon previously submitted fitness information when that information is still valid and identified. However, certain of Silk Way West’s previously filed information is insufficient to support this Application. For example, Silk Way West relies upon financial information that is more than two years old. Consistent with Department rules and past practices, the Department should consider the Application incomplete and not act until Silk Way West provides the information necessary to support foreign air carrier permit amendment application and the public has had an opportunity to comment.

Counsel: Pillsbury Winthrop, Kenneth Quinn, 202-663-8898


 

OST-2007-28603 - Foreign Air Carrier Permit - US-Azerbaijan Cargo Charters
OST-2014-0111
- Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

May 18, 2016

Amendment No. 2

On behalf of Silk Way Airlines Limited Liability Company and Silk Way West Airlines Limited Liability Company and in connection with the above-captioned submissions, enclosed herewith please find excerpts from audited financial statements for both carriers for 2014. Audited financial statements for 2015 are not yet available.

Counsel: The Wicks Group, Glenn Wicks and Ekaterina Grimes, 202-457-7790


 

Order 2016-8-7
OST-2014-0111 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

Issued and Served August 2, 2016

Order Granting Exemption and to Show Cause

We grant the request of Silk Way West Airlines Limited Liability Company for an exemption under 49 USC §40109 to permit it to engage in scheduled and charter foreign air transportation of property and mail between the United States and any point or points. Our action granting the exemption authority described herein is effective immediately, for a period of two years from the issue date of this order, or until the attached permit becomes effective, whichever is earlier.

With respect to the applicant’s request for an amended foreign air carrier permit in this proceeding, we direct all interested persons to show cause why our tentative decision on that application, set forth above, should not be made final. Any interested person objecting to the issuance of an order making final our tentative findings and conclusions with respect to the applicant’s request for an amended foreign air carrier permit shall, no later than twenty-one calendar days after the date of service of this order, file with the Department.

By: Susan McDermott


 

Order 2016-10-19
OST-2014-0111 - Exemption and Foreign Air Carrier Permit - Azerbaijan-US Scheduled and Charter All-Cargo

Issued August 26, 2016 | Served October 27, 2016

Final Order

By Order 2016-8-7, issued August 2, 2016, we directed all interested persons to show cause why we should not make final our tentative findings and conclusions stated therein and award an amended foreign air carrier permit in the form attached to the Order and subject to the conditions attached thereto. We gave interested persons 21 days to file objections to the Order. We said that if no objections are filed, all further procedural steps shall be deemed waived, and the Department will enter an order (subject to Presidential review under 49 USC §41307) which will make final the findings and conclusions of the Order.

No objections were received within the time period provided.

By: Susan McDermott


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