United Air Lines and American Airlines announced plans to slow the pace of a lawsuit seeking to delay a USD3.4 billion expansion of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in hopes of reaching an agreement with the city (Bloomberg, 11-Feb-2011). The carriers agreed to delay an Illinois state court case by five days, as requested by the US Department of Transportation.
United and American agree to delay O'Hare lawsuit
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Global airport construction review 1Q2017 – focus on Latin America and Africa
The annual airport construction overview report for 2017 focuses on Latin America and Africa, two regions that are often overlooked but which make their contribution to the global total of activity. One of them, Africa, is surprisingly strong in new airport construction, as long as the funding can be found, which is no easy task.
The total known global investment on airport projects continues to grow, and hovers close to the USD1 trillion mark; and with Asia Pacific the overall leader.
There are, however, anomalies, with some regions witnessing many projects but small investment figures, and vice versa. This report attempts to explain those anomalies while offering a breakdown of the biggest projects in each region.
US-China open skies: a window in 2019 – alignment of airline partnerships & airport infrastructure
The year 2019 presents a possible opening for China and the United States to sign an open skies agreement. This would principally lift restrictions on flights between the countries – important, since both nations have saturated primary traffic rights and there have been unsuccessful negotiations to expand the allotment.
Most importantly, open skies is a prerequisite for US approval of US-China airlines' joint ventures with antitrust immunity. These partnerships permit airlines to coordinate networks and pricing jointly – which, they say, increases consumer choice, but which other groups worry reduces competition, after experience in the trans-Atlantic market.
Perhaps paradoxically, the lure of a JV will mean that the airlines lobby their governments for open skies that might eventually reduce competition. US airlines will want greater slot availability at Shanghai and Beijing, which could occur in 2019.
Finally, airlines will need to have confidence in a shared future with their partner. China Eastern is close to Delta, while China Southern has a young partnership with American Airlines. Air China, however, does not feel close to United Airlines, which has the highest presence of its own metal in the market. Air China questions whether United actually wants open skies. There is unlikely to be any government deal without the support of Air China, the flag carrier, and a major airline that enjoys a close relationship with the regulator.