Sooner than we think?
The highlight of the North American Region IFALPA meeting was a presentation, followed by a question and answer period. Of particular interest, specifically considering reports this week concerning CAL, UAL and ANA discussing an application for antitrust immunity and a possible joint venture, was the progress being made towards an open skies agreement between the US and Japan. I specifically asked about the likelihood that Japan would agree to an open skies treaty acceptable to the US by the end of the year. He thought it was very likely. Talks are progressing very rapidly this week in Japan and another round is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7. In order for the DOT to seriously consider a grant of immunity for these carriers, the issue of open skies with Japan must be settled. We will be watching this very closely in order to ensure that there is compliance with the scope provisions of our CBA.