Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) presented a proposal to open the country’s skies and allow new carriers to operate domestic services (Arab News, 02-Aug-2011). GACA spokesperson Khaled Al-Khaibary stated the organisation has received applications from Gulf and Saudi companies for operating licences in the domestic sector and that it wants to “open up the Kingdom’s domestic air transport market to find feasible solutions for current problems”. Such problems include restrictions on travellers and difficulty in obtaining international bookings. Mr Al-Khaibary stated the arrival of foreign carriers in Saudi Arabia would create job opportunities for Saudis and increase competition, resulting in lower airfares. GACA is awaiting a decision from the Supreme Economic Council.
GACA wants open skies for Saudi Arabia
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Challenges to airline liberalisation. Mindset changes needed: CAPA Americas Summit (VIDEO)
Tentative approval was finally granted by the Us DoT for Norwegian Air International to introduce long haul, low cost service from Europe to the US. Even though the opponents have successfully lobbied legislators to introduce prohibiting legislation, this was a milestone in the contentious debate about open skies agreements, as well as the intricacies of labour law and foreign ownership requirements. There was a lively debate on this topic at CAPA's Americas Aviation Summit, under the guidance of CNN anchor, Richard Quest.
However, in the larger scheme of liberalisation Norwegian’s victory is a small step in what appears to be a long journey for a mindset change: to create new paradigms in the rapidly changing global aviation industry. In the US aviation landscape the easing of foreign ownership restrictions remains a non-starter, which means that joint ventures will continue to serve as stand-ins for cross-border ownership. As the status quo remains, and members of large global alliances holding anti-trust immunity dominate markets such as the trans-Atlantic, Norwegian’s ability to inject low cost competition is welcome, and a logical development.
Donald Trump’s contribution to the global aviation system. The ground has already shifted
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been marked by a combination of populism, nationalism, protectionism, racism – notably against Mexicans - and anti-Muslim rhetoric. There have also been even less attractive elements of his campaign.
This CAPA analysis considers the impact of his campaign and possible presidency on the aviation and tourism sector, against the background of the past year. There is more to the apparent shift in US international attitudes than just Mr Trump, as a sweeping dissatisfaction and distrust of “politicians” pervades that country – and others. Austria’s recent election polarisation is one example.
Mr Trump’s positions have been matched at the other end of the political spectrum – in a less unpleasant way – by Bernie Sanders, who is also playing to the populist disillusionment with Washington. The result, already, is to have shifted the policy fulcrum, regardless of the political outcome.
For aviation purposes Mr Trump has said and done things that are relevant in several important areas, as observed.