Airlines Salivating Over Open Skies Agreement

The Trans-Atlantic deregulation agreement known as “Open Skies” has airlines chomping at the bit—even though the start date is still 11 months away, according to USAToday. The agreement will allow any US airline to fly anywhere in the EU and any EU airline to fly anywhere in the US. So, will you be flying Aer Lingus from Cleveland to Dallas? Maybe. Will it be cheaper?

The experts only agree on one thing, it probably won’t be any more expensive than it is now. Much of the excitement surrounds London’s Heathrow Airport, or as USA Today puts it:

“Heathrow is the cash cow,” Ash says. In the 12 months ended in February, the average fare from the USA to Heathrow was 29% higher than that from the USA to Gatwick, another main London airport, according to consultant Sabre Aviation Solutions. For the airlines, stakes in the coming rules change are high. Trans-Atlantic air traffic between Europe and the USA is expected to increase by 55% over the next five years.

Currently, American Airlines and United are the only US airlines permitted to provide service to Healthrow.—MEGHANN MARCO

Trans-Atlantic deregulation: Airlines salivate at possibilities [USA Today]
(Photo: steve9567)

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  1. cabinaero says:

    Heathrow is also extremely slot restricted for awhile. Things should improve next spring when BAA’s new terminal opens. But I think most of that space is already being snatched-up by non-US carriers.

  2. letoofdune says:

    I’m extremely excited about this prospect – I’m tired of paying so much for a transatlantic flight. I hope this will open up competition, and I can take vacations more frequently to the Old World. Heathrow is such a bottle neck for connecting to the the rest of Europe, and unless you want to risk a cross town jaunt on a trip to Gatwick, Luton, or City, you’re kinda screwed.

    Three cheers for open markets, and whatnot.

  3. nweaver says:

    Of course, Heathrow is such an evil airport that its status as a major hub should frankly, be revoked. ITs EVIL EVIL EVIL!

  4. hemaphore says:

    What will this mean for smaller carriers?

  5. ironchef says:

    this is kinda stupid. It will be the same effect as the “open seas” initiatives…

    ever wonder why there are no American flagged cruise ships? Because companies all went off shore to circumvent tax and labor laws.

  6. Spider Jerusalem says:

    I will totally be taking Aer Lingus from LA to Seattle. I mean, yeah, its the most cramped planes in the history of the world, but I’ve done a 13-hour flight with Aer Lingus before without food or getting up once, so BRING IT ON!

  7. mac-phisto says:

    why fly heathrow? fares into amsterdam are loads cheaper in most cases, & accessing the european mainland is much easier (your choice: plane, train, bus, bike).

  8. Paplikaplik says:

    So, will you be flying Aer Lingus from Cleveland to Dallas?

    Not with this agreement. What you’re talking about is called “cabotage”, which allows a foreign operator to carry passengers between two domestic points of another country. No existing “Open Skies” agreements allow cabotage, not even the new agreement between the US and Canada.

  9. FreakyStyley says:

    @mac-phisto: Rickshaw?

  10. FLConsumer says:

    This could be good — the international carriers still remember what service is.

  11. BK88 says:

    Actually, you CANNOT fly from a US city to a US city on a foreign carrier. It’s called CABOTAGE, and it will not be allowed in the Open Skies agreement.

  12. shdwsclan says:

    Ahh, yes, the foul stench of capitalism will prevail.
    It will still cost more to fly from chicago to london, than from chicago to hawaii, even though hawaii is further away….

  13. ord2fra says:

    Distance does not affect the cost of the ticket. Fares are calculated on other factors, but distance is not one of them. Just like cable rates and cell phone plans, fares are geared to how much you are willing to pay, not on the cost or distance.

  14. BK88 says:

    @ord2fra

    ummm… yes it is based on distance. That’s why the main metric is “cost per seat mile.” The take the leg/stage length and then factor the cost of the flight and then the number of seats they have on the plane.

  15. Brad Ackerman says:

    ironchef: Actually, there aren’t any American-flagged cruise ships because they would have to be built and have all non-emergency repairs performed in the US. Nobody likes being micromanaged.

  16. ord2fra says:

    @BK88: Sure that is how costs are measured. But fares are not. Revenue is based on demand, not costs.