US and Saudi Arabia signed (18-Apr-2011) an US-Saudi Arabia Open Skies agreement on 18-Apr-2011. The agreement, which will be applied on the basis of comity and reciprocity pending its entry into force, will liberalise the bilateral aviation relationship between the two nations. According to the US State Department, "the agreement strengthens and expands the already strong trade and tourism links with Saudi Arabia, and will benefit American and Saudi Arabian businesses and travelers. It will expand air service and encourage vigorous price competition by airlines, while safeguarding aviation safety and security". [more]
US and Saudi Arabia initial Open Skies agreement
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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.
Global Airport Development Conference 2016 report: Trump, Brexit, pipelines and PPPs. Part 1
The Global Airport Development (GAD World) conference was held in Lisbon, between 29-Nov and 01-Dec-2016. This CAPA report chronicles the presentations and debates that took place on the first two days, including selected ‘stream’ sessions on both days.
There was, inevitably, a political overlay to the event, with the (Jun-2016) UK referendum on continuing membership of the European Union (‘Brexit’), the (Nov-2016) election of President Trump in the US and associated ‘uncertainty’ dominating events.
Otherwise, the concern was, as always, the ‘pipeline’ of airport privatisation details, or rather the lack of them, while the hope was for the continuation of the trend towards PPP deals.