December 9, 2011
U.S. Signs Open Skies Agreement with Montenegro
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the United States had signed an Open Skies agreement with Montenegro. See Press Release, U.S. DOT, Dec. 6, 2011 (available here). It is the first air transport agreement between the two countries and the 105th Open Skies agreement for the U.S.
December 8, 2011
Professor Havel Comments on AMR Bankruptcy in NY Times
International Aviation Law Institute Director Brian F. Havel was asked to participate in a Room for Debate forum about American Airlines' bankruptcy filing in today's New York Times. His contribution can be found here.
December 7, 2011
CJEU Decision Expected December 21
Contrary to the widely held belief that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) would not deliver its final decision until sometime in 2012, after the EU's new regulations on aviation emissions are scheduled to take effect, it is now being reported that the decision will come two weeks from today. See Barbara Lewis and Nina Chestney, EU Court to Rule on Airline CO2 Cap December 21, Reuters, Dec. 6, 2011 (available here). The safe guess right now is that the opinion will adhere closely to the analysis contained within the Advocate General's October 6 advisory opinion. We have discussed that opinion at length on the blog over the past two months and have provided links to external, and often contrary, evaluations of the opinion. For blog readers interested in what to anticipate from the CJEU, we recommend browsing the archives going back to October 6. We'll be certain to provide analysis of the final opinion when it is delivered.
December 6, 2011
UK Proceeds with APD Increase
Earlier today the British Government announced that, despite objections from airlines and travel and tourism groups, the Air Passenger Duty (APD) will increase by eight percent next year, and will be broadened to include passengers on private business jets. See Oliver Smith, Air Passenger Duty: Government Rejects Changes to Aviation Tax, Daily Telegraph, Dec. 6, 2011 (available here). The tax was first introduced in 1994 and has been billed as an environmental measure. However, with aviation emissions on the verge of being capped by the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, it is far from clear that the APD will produce greater emissions reductions than those already expected under the cap. The government's ongoing need for revenue seems a more likely reason behind the increase.
December 5, 2011
Update on Proposed Changes to India's Foreign Ownership Rules
In our Nov. 16 post we linked to a report that the Indian government was considering loosening restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines. A new report today provides a few more details on the changes that now appear likely. See, Anand Katti and Madhura Katti, India Seeks U.S. Investment to Boost Aviation Sector, Aviation International News Online, Dec. 5, 2011 (available here). According to the article, the government intends to allow foreign carriers to invest in Indian carriers, and is debating whether the permitted level of investment should be capped at 24 or 26 percent. More significantly, the report suggests the government may permit foreign investors unaffiliated with foreign airlines to take a majority ownership share, a rarity in international aviation.