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EU talks open again. Pay Attention!

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Well-known member
May 11, 2002
With the current state of the industry being what it is right now, alot of the focus in this forum has been bankruptcies, the continued erosion of pay and workrules, which group is screwing who, LCC's vs Legacies, etc. etc etc.

While all this is going on, an issue that could have far worse consequences to everybody has come up again, somewhat under the radar: talks have resumed between the US and the EU over "open skies." I haven't seen a whole bunch mentioned on the issue, even from alpa.

You think your pay is bad right now? If cabotage or foreign ownership rules are changed, it may only be the beginning of the cuts.

I encourage each and every one of you to contact your representatives in DC and get them to vote NO on any changes to those rules. Encourage everybody you know in this industry to do the same.

Don't think you are safe because you only make 25k a year. There are plenty of people from "BFE outer-slabobia" that would do your job for a fraction of what you get.
So, what exactly does that mean? Do you feel it is all hogwash and will never happen or what??

Educate yourself on the subject, then make a statement.

I know this subject doesn't have the "sex appeal" that alot of the bash-fests and "which airline has the hottest flight attendant" threads do, but you need to keep an eye on this.
According to ALPA, and the groups in the EU, cabotage is not an issue in this round of talks. The talks during this round are regarding foreign ownership for the most part. There was a fairly good but brief article in flight international a few months ago regarding the talks, and the issues at hand.
IPA is in favor of EU open skies....

OCTOBER 24, 2005

[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]Y [/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]L[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]UKE [/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]P[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]YLES[/FONT]​
[FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]OVT[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]. A[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]FFAIRS [/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]C[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]OMMITTEE [/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]C[/FONT][FONT=TimesNewRoman,Bold]HAIRMAN[/FONT]​
By the time you read this article, lead
negotiators for the U.S. Government will
have returned from Europe where they
will have concluded a robust round of negotiations with
their EU counterparts and turned their sights toward continued
talks in the U.S. You are well aware of these negotiations
because IPNN has been keeping a close eye on the
talks . and for good reasons . jobs are at stake. In our
case, we feel it will translate into an increase in jobs, but for
others, it could be seen as a threat.
We believe an open skies agreement across the Atlantic
is extremely important to IPAmembers for several reasons-
-most notable of which will be the opportunity for new
European routes and more pilots on the seniority list. Currently,
UPS cannot use IPAcrewmembers to fly the following
legs due to the lack of route authority:​
. Cologne . Munich . Cologne
. Bordeaux . Rennes . Cologne . Rennes . Bordeaux
. Bologna . Bergamo . Cologne . Bergamo . Bologna
. Shannon . Dublin . Cologne . Dublin . Shannon
. Toulouse . Lyon . Cologne . Lyon . Toulouse
. Athens . Bergamo . Paris . Bergamo . Athens
. Lisbon . Oporto . Cologne . Oporto . Lisbon
. Edinburgh . East Midlands . Paris . East Midlands - Edinburgh
. EU theatre reserve/hot​
With an EU-US open skies agreement in place, these
routes could legally be flown by IPAcrews. Sounds great,
but, what.s in it for the EU members?
Well, for starters, they get access to EU-U.S. city pairs
currently not allowed (so would we). Airlines in the EU
must fly directly from their homeland to U.S. destinations.
A new agreement would allow any EU carrier to fly from
any EU country to any destination city within America. For
example, Air France could fly directly from London to
Atlanta, bypassing the need to stop in Paris, or--even more
oddly--Finnair could fly directly from Madrid to New York,
bypassing Helsinki. This agreement would allow EU
member airlines to develop an international network similar
to that of U.S. carriers. They would not be allowed to
conduct cabotage flights within America (routes from a
U.S. city to another U.S. city with domestic passengers
More importantly, perhaps, EU members develop what
is being described as a .First Step. initiative that may lead
to the real nugget . a change in ownership laws of U.S.
based carriers, commonly referred to as a .Second Step.
proceeding or ROE (rights of establishment).
ROE will require Congressional intervention through the
development of new ownership laws, traditionally a very
cumbersome and time consuming process. Ownership is
currently restricted to 25% from a foreign source. The EU
would like this restriction lifted--allowing 100% ownership,
if desired. Some folks in D.C. wonder if the Second
Step proceedings would even get underway in 2006, but
sources close to the negotiations believe that it could be
introduced in the Spring of next year and voted on by late
Fall .06.
So, is foreign ownership a good thing? Well, the answer
depends on your particular view of the industry. Cargo carriers
like FEDEX and UPS would probably have little to
gain. UPS, as per the contract, would be required to use
pilots on the IPAseniority list. We have heard it said that if
ROE were to become a reality, UPS would simply start a
European carrier and forgo usage of IPA pilots. Well,
according to the first article of our collective bargaining
agreement, that would be an improbability:​
Article 1.C.1. The execution of this Agreement on the part of the Company
shall cover crewmember operations of all aircraft operated pursuant to
the Company’s Airline Operating Certificate IPXA097B, and of all aircraft
operated pursuant to any additional Part 121 Airline Operating Certificate
or any foreign equivalent Airline Operating Certificate acquired by the
Company, or any affiliate of the Company in and for the service of the
Company or any affiliate or wherever located, presently operating, or to be
operated in the future..​
So, it would seem that ROE is a positive development for
IPAcrewmembers but a zero sum gain for UPS.​
Our brothers and sisters flying for passenger airlines have
extremely different ideas. Those flying for healthy carriers
believe foreign investment is not good and domestic competition
alone should dictate who stays and who doesn.t,
effectively forcing capacity to restrict and prices to inflate.
They tend to believe that their efforts toward profitability
should be rewarded and not hindered by foreign start-ups.
Conversely, those passenger carriers struggling to make
payroll tend to welcome the thought of accessing new
monies and gaining further access to the lucrative international
markets. U.S. carriers earn roughly $0.10 per ASM
on domestic routes and an astonishing $2.00 per ASM on
international routes. It.s no wonder most legacy carriers
want international expansion capabilities.
To be clear about one important aspect of negotiations, if
the First Step is agreed upon (most think it will happen
within a few weeks) and IF the Second Step (foreign ownership)
is initiated by next year, the U.S. Government
intends to strictly enforce and insist that any new carrier,
whether foreign or U.S. owned, be operated by FAA
licensed pilots. We have been repeatedly assured cabotage
and foreign licensed pilots are non-negotiable items. For
the IPApilot, however, this is not an item of concern as Article
1 of the contract clearly addresses the issue.
Please know that the Executive Board, Scope and Government
Affairs Committees will be monitoring developments closely.​

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