Virgin Atlantic Airways, CEO, Steve Ridgway, stated US carriers should be denied access to London Heathrow Airport unless the US market is liberalised and opened up to competition under the EU-US open skies agreement (Bloomberg, 03-Feb-2010). Mr Ridgway called for an end to restrictions on foreign investment in US carriers during the second phase of the agreement (for which negotiations commence this month).
Virgin Atlantic Airways: “Signals need to be sent that if there isn’t effective liberalisation then some of the gains they got in phase one will be withdrawn. The first deal was only done on the basis that we would move to a proper open aviation area and we would sweep away archaic rules that have done nobody any good. The claw-back provisions made it very clear that if these things were not corrected, the rights that US carriers got to operate in the UK would be withdrawn. We still believe in that very strongly,” Steve Ridgway, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 03-Feb-2010.