Monday, May 21, 2012
There won't be any blogging this week as Institute fellow and blog author John Mulligan travels to Beijing, China for a workshop at Beihang University. While there, he will present the paper he recently co-authored with Professor Brian Havel, The Triumph of Politics: Reflections on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union Validating the Inclusion of Non-EU Airlines in the Emissions Trading Scheme. Blogging will resume after Memorial Day with a full recap of the event.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
An article in yesterday's Financial Times reports that Lufthansa will look into acquiring Portuguese flag carrier TAP. See Andrew Parker & Ralph Atkins, Lufthansa Bid to Tap into LatAm Market, Financial Times, May 15, 2012 (available here). IAG has also made known its interest in TAP, which is valued by both larger carriers for its routes to Latin America.
Court of Justice for the European Union Advocate General Yves Bot has produced his opinion on an important collection of joined cases concerning passenger compensation for flight delays. The full opinion for Joined Cases C-581/10 Nelson and Others v Deutsche Lufthansa AG and C-629/10 TUI Travel plc and Others v Civil Aviation Authority is available here. A press release is available here (pdf). We'll have more analysis of this opinion later this week.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Volume 11, Spring 2012 issue of the International Aviation Law Institutes's journal, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy (IALP), will be available later this month. The following articles will appear in the issue:
- Steven M. Dejong, Kant Be Done: A Consideration of the Criminalization of Accidents Within the Retributivist Paradigm
- W. Eric Pilsk, Airport Noise Litigation in the 21st Century: A Survey of Current Issues
- John Q. Mulligan, Legal and Policy Issues in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
- Wouter Oude Alink, The Establishment of Airport Charges: Recent Developments in the EU
- Francesco Gaspari, Recent Developments in EU Air Transport Liberalization and Re-Regulation Policies and the New Order of International Air Transport
- Yolande J. Hanlan, Eid v. Alaska Airlines, Inc.: The Great Divide
Additionally, the issue will include the following commentaries:
- Brian F. Havel & Jeremias Prassl, Reforming Civil Aviation in the United Kingdom: The Civil Aviation Bill 2011-12
- Allan I. Mendelsohn, International Aviation Today: What's Wrong?
Blog readers interested in subscribing to IALP, ordering back issues, or perusing a list of published articles may do so at the Institute's website here.
Monday, May 14, 2012
International Aviation Law Institute Director Brian F. Havel has been invited to deliver the lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society Air Law Group's Annual Summer Reception, Monday, July 9, 2012. The title of his lecture will be Is It All Just Politics? The ETS Controversy, the Rise of Unilateralism and the Future of International Aviation Law. From the brochure:
Since its inception, and by its very nature, international aviation has relied on a spirit of cooperation and the comity to succeed. However there has always been tension between the unilateralist inclinations of States burdened by domestic responsibilities and the multilateral regime necessary to a functional international aviation system.The controversy surrounding the EU’s extension of its Emissions Trading Scheme to foreign carriers has exposed that tension in vivid terms. Professor Brian F Havel will discuss how, ironically in an era of increased airline liberalisation, the legal agreements,informal standards, and international bodies that coordinate transnational activity in the aviation sector may be inadequate for a world with many more influential State and industry players and increasingly unilateral priorities for aviation policy.Will the current international aviation law regime fail? Will its apparent stability be revealed as an illusion propped up by previously unchallenged dominance of a few major aviation powers? How serious is the threat posed by the new unilateralism? Will the need for cooperation still transcend all of the emerging differences and conflicting priorities? Professor Havel will try to provide the answers to these questions.
Visitors are welcome. More information can be found about the event here.
Friday, May 11, 2012
According to Bloomberg, American Airlines (AMR) has assured its unsecured creditors committee that it will consider potential mergers as it puts together a reorganization proposal this summer. See Jeffrey McCracken and Mary Schlangenstein, AMR Said Ready to Study Sale Among Options in Bankruptcy, Bloomberg, May 11, 2012 (available here). American has exclusive rights until September to propose a reorganization plan and management had previously insisted that it intended to emerge from bankruptcy before considering any possible mergers. However, last month's news that the union groups on the unsecured creditors committee were in support of a potential takeover bid by US Airways drove speculation that the committee could move to cut short AMR management's exclusivity. Presumably, today's agreement will end that threat in exchange for AMR's agreement to explore options involving other airlines.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Triple Five, a Canadian conglomerate, has requested financial information from Cyprus Airways as it contemplates purchasing a majority stake in the Cypriot flag carrier. See Michele Kambas, Cyprus Air Says Canada's Triple Five Eyes Stake, Reuters, May 8, 2012 (available here). While the potential deal is still in its early stages, it is unclear how the type of acquisition described in the article could be legal. Though the EU-Canada air transport agreement is relatively liberal, it only permits foreign ownership to the extent permissible by domestic regulation. As of now, the EU limits foreign ownership of community carriers to a 49.9 percent stake, and Canada, despite repeated discussions of raising the cap, still prohibits foreign ownership beyond 25 percent. That 25 percent figure would appear to be the maximum stake Triple Five could acquire under the EU-Canada agreement, as according to Annex 2, "ownership of a Party's airlines by nationals of all other Parties shall be allowable, on the basis of reciprocity, to the extent permitted by Canada's domestic laws and regulations for foreign investment in airlines." Canadian rules appear to allow for larger equity stakes, as long as voting rights and control of the carrier aren't included. However, Triple Five is unlikely to be interested in a majority equity stake without control of the carrier. The Cyprus government currently owns 69 percent of Cyprus Airways.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Last week, Danish carrier Cimber Sterling became the latest airline to declare bankruptcy. Cimber Sterling, which primarily served domestic routes within Denmark, has grounded its aircraft for now. See Ray Weaver, Cimber Sterling Goes Bankrupt, The Copenhagen Post, May 3, 2012 (available here).
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The liberalization and consolidation of the global aviation sector that has occurred over the past decade, especially in Europe, has often come at the expense of the symbolic benefits flag carriers provide to a nation's sense of identity. EU Member States have begun making this sacrifice by privatizing, and in some cases shuttering, their national airlines in their pursuit of an EU single market. Though these measures may be most painful for nations that have only recently established an independent identity, such as the States comprising the former Yugoslavia, some form of market integration is financially necessary according to Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, head of the Association of European Airlines (AEA). Schulte-Strathaus recommends that Slovenia's Adria Airways, Croatia Airways, Montenegro Airlines, and Serbia's JAT Airways look for ways to cooperate to reduce costs and fend off competition from low-cost carriers. See Struggling Airlines of Former Yugoslavia Urged to Boost Cooperation, Associated Press, May 2, 2012 (available here). Though Slovenia is the only one of the four States presently in the EU, no State in the region is immune from the market dynamics driving consolidation in the aviation sector. Representatives of the four carriers appear aware of this reality as they will meet later this month to discuss the potential for fleet sharing, exchanging aircraft, and joint maintenance facilities, among other ideas.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Airlines for America (A4A), the primary trade organization for U.S. carriers, has filed comments in response to the FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued on Feb. 29, 2012, which would alter the requirements for pilot certification. The FAA's proposed rule would require first officers hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, currently only required for pilots in command. A4A warns that the 1,500 flight hours required to obtain the certificate could result in a shortage of certified pilots. A4A recommends the FAA establish a separate certificate for first officers that takes into account the quality of a pilot's training and experience without relying on a minimum flight hour threshold. In its comments, A4A also recommends the FAA form an aviation rulemaking committee to consider the adoption of a Multicrew Pilot Licensing Program. The A4A's full comments are available here. The commenting period ended April 30.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Etihad Airways has purchased a 2.987% stake in Irish carrier Aer Lingus. See Alex Delmar-Morgan, Etihad Buys Aer Lingus Stake, Wall St. J., May 1, 2012 (available here). This move demonstrates Etihad's continued interest in European carriers, following its investment in Air Berlin last December. The purchase increases speculation that Etihad could be a buyer for the Irish government's 25% Aer Lingus stake.