Wednesday, February 16, 2011
According to a leaked United States embassay cable released by Wikileaks, the United Kingdom was contemplating pulling out of the 2007 U.S./EU Air Transport Agreement if the U.S. Department of Transportation failed to grant antitrust immunity to the oneworld Alliance. See Tim Webb, UK 'Threatened to Pull out of Open Skies Deal', Leaked US Cables Show, Guardian, Feb. 14, 2011 (available here). The news confirms the speculation offered by industry analysts (including the writers of this blog) that disapproval of the oneworld Alliance application could have had dire consequences for the 2007 Agreement. Since the DOT's immunization of the alliance, the European Union has agreed to remove to the so-called "suspension clause" from the Air Transport Agreement as part of the Second Stage Protocol which amended the treaty last year.