17-Nov-2009 8:16 AM

IATA: governments liberalisation principles agreement

IATA announced (16-Nov-2009) the signing of a Multilateral Statement of Policy Principles regarding the Implementation of Bilateral Air Service Agreements by seven states and the European Commission. Signatories are Chile, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE and the US, as well as endorsement by the European Commission. In total they represent some 60% of global aviation. Canada’s airports expressed disappointment that the Canadian Federal Government failed to attend the summit, held in Québec, and sign the agreement. The Canadian government has adopted a much more conservative policy since bailing out Air Canada.

The parties agreed on principles in three main areas:

  • Freedom to access capital markets: States agreed on principles that would open the possibility for airlines to access global capital markets. This would be achieved with an agreement not to exercise bilateral rights that could allow them to block international services from airlines with non-national ownership structures. States also agreed to consider the possibility of a multilateral agreement to waive ownership restriction;
  • Freedom to do business: States agreed on principles that seek to reduce restrictions on market access and to expedite the further opening of markets in future bilateral negotiations.
  • Freedom to price services: States agreed on principles that would allow greater freedom to price airline services in line with market realities. [more - IATA] [more - CAC]

IATA: “This is an historic achievement that will help set the foundation for a financially sustainable global aviation industry. I congratulate the seven governments and the European Commission for their visionary leadership. One agreement will not change the world. But this is a strong signal that this industry’s future must be realized in a much more liberal environment. Today’s signing is the beginning of a process of change. Our shared task now is to bring even more countries on board,”  Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO. Source: IATA, 16-Nov-2009.

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