Friday, December 4, 2009

Regime Change

Aviation Week has a good story up concerning lineup shifts in the European Commission and how it could "open the door for airlines to build a more constructive relationship with Brussels."  See Robert Wall, New EC Lineup Could Affect Aviation, Aviation Wk., Dec. 4, 2009 (available here).  From the story:

What the impact will be from having a new face heading the European Commission’s transport directorate, where Estonian Siim Kallas is replacing Italian Antonio Tajani, remains uncertain. Kallas has no immediate background in air transport issues and comes with trade union ties, but a change is being widely welcomed in an area where airlines often were at odds with Brussels. Airline officials look to the transport commissioner to help defend their interests in battles with others, such as the environment directorate, and feel support was lacking.

Other changes at the Commission, including replacement of Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, also are largely seen as a positive. The Commission has taken a skeptical view of airline consolidation and is also taking a close look at antitrust implications of alliances. The European Parliament is set to vote on the new commissioners in January; they would serve a five-year term.

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