US State Department's Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs stated the second phase of the US-EU open skies agreement is expected to be signed on 24-Jun-2010 (MarketWatch, 07-Jun-2010). A tentative agreement was formed in Mar-2010, following eight rounds of talks between EU and US representatives. More restrictions on services and limits between the EU and US are expected to be removed and the parties will increase cooperation on security.
Second stage of US-EU open skies to be signed late Jun-2010
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Norwegian Air's NAI at last gets final approval of US rights in a boost to long haul growth
On 2-Dec-2016 the US Department of Transportation (DoT) served an order granting Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign air carrier permit, as required by the EU-US open skies agreement, to which Norway is a party. Almost three years after NAI's application it seems that the EU's 30-Nov-2016 filing for arbitration finally panicked the DoT into finalising its tentative approval given eight months ago.
Since launching long haul operations in summer 2013 Norwegian has grown its long haul network to 37 routes operated in 2016. In spite of the delay in receiving the US permit for NAI, 34 of these routes are between cities in Europe and the US. The only Asian destination is Bangkok, linked to the three Scandinavian capitals.
The DoT's final decision means Norwegian can now use its Irish-registered subsidiary NAI to fly long haul routes from Europe to destinations both east and west with the same operating airline, and with EU traffic rights in both directions. This should increase its operational flexibility and cost efficiency and allow lower fares on a greater number of routes. Norwegian already has ambitious long haul growth plans. Expect these now to accelerate further, and not only to the US.
Iceland’s WOW Air to expand rapidly in 2017, pushing up LCC penetration on the trans-Atlantic
Iceland’s WOW Air is planning more rapid growth in 2017 as it adds seven aircraft and continues to expand its North Atlantic operation. WOW’s new routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco will be upgraded to daily while Miami will be launched, giving the LCC eight North American destinations.
WOW launched services in 2012 and only began serving North America in 2015. The LCC has successfully stimulated demand in a market dominated by full service airlines, particularly airlines in immunised trans-Atlantic joint ventures.
WOW expects the trans-Atlantic market can support significantly more LCC capacity and potentially an LCC penetration rate of up to 40% compared to only approximately 5% currently. WOW also has been growing in Europe mainly with additional capacity to existing destinations that is supported with transit traffic growth to North America.