Long overdue cooperation on transatlantic air issue

Supply chain managers – especially those reliant on air cargo -- should welcome a major new step forward in regulatory cooperation between the European Commission and DOT made late last week.

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Supply chain managers – especially those reliant on air cargo—should welcome a major new step forward in regulatory cooperation between the European Commission and DOT made late last week.

The European Commission and United States Department of Transportation (DOT) have published a report on the role of alliances in the market for transatlantic air services.
 
The report completes a joint research project aimed at developing a greater understanding of airline alliances and the separate regulatory approaches applied by each agency to address competitive issues. ?? 
 
The report examines the competitive structures of the airline industries in Europe and the United States and compares the respective legal regimes and analytical frameworks applied by the Commission and DOT.  The report concludes that the competitive structures of the airline industries are similar.  Despite important differences in legal regimes, the report finds that there is scope for the Commission and DOT to work towards the promotion of compatible regulatory approaches as specified in Annex 2 to the EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement, to achieve pro-competitive outcomes for consumers and the airline industry.

The EU-U.S. Air Transport Agreement – provisionally applied as of March 2008 – enhanced competition in the transatlantic market by allowing, for the first time, EU or U.S. airlines to serve any routes between Europe and the United States. It also called for the Commission and DOT to develop a common understanding of trends in the airline industry in order to promote cooperation on competition issues. The joint research project was a first step in this process.?

The project was launched in March 2008. The Commission and DOT staff conducted joint interviews with airlines and airline alliances, and commissioned quantitative analysis of traffic and fare data. ??   

The project marks a step ?? 

The report is available on the Internet at http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/aviation/reports.htm


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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