Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Etihad Airways is purchasing a 24 percent stake in India's Jet Airways, completing a deal that has been in the works since at least January. This is the first such investment by a foreign airline since India began allowing foreign carriers to make direct investments in Indian carriers last September.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The European Commission announced in a press release earlier today that it's initial review of the proposed merger between Greece's two major carriers, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, produced sufficient competition concerns to warrant an in-depth probe. The Commission blocked a previous merger attempt by Olympic and Aegean in 2011. Today's press release gave little indication that the outcome will be different this time around. In the press release the Commission identified six routes on which the merged entity would have a monopoly, as compared with nine such routes that would have been created under the first merger attempt. The Commission also expressed serious concern about the viability of existing or future competitors within the affected markets and indicated that Aegean's proposed commitments were inadequate. A final decision is expected by the beginning of September.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Over the weekend Israeli airline workers went on strike to protest Israel's new open skies agreement with the European Union. Numerous flights were cancelled as a result of the two-day strike, which ended today. In the first linked article, a quoted union representative characterizes the worker's stance as supporting competition if it is fair. The Israeli carriers have raised two areas of concern with regard to fairness in competition: their exclusion from the most powerful international airline alliances and Israel's stricter security standards. To end the strike, the Israeli government reportedly addressed the latter concern by agreeing to pay 98 percent of the carrier's security costs. While it's hardly unprecedented for airlines and unions to oppose liberalization, the international aviation community's growing concern with "fairness," a trend that was on display at ICAO's Air Transport Conference last month, warrants attention.