APA Asks Congress To Block AA/BA ATI

TWU informer

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Gee, why not be a man and just accuse me of being FWAAA?

Pretty pathetic insinuation, coming from the king of aliases -- AMFA Dave. Oops, I mean Decision 2004. Or is it RV4? No, this year it's TWU Informer...

Got to love the management alias monitors. Of course that goes all the way back to Plane Business days. If the shoe fits wear it. At least I don't deny mine.
 
OP
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eolesen

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Got to love the management alias monitors. Of course that goes all the way back to Plane Business days. If the shoe fits wear it. At least I don't deny mine.


Once again, Dave proves he's incapable of making an argument outside the 100x100 space he occupies in TUL.

If it makes you feel better to think that FWAAA and I are one and the same, go ahead and enjoy your delusions.

I'd really like to know how I could have been an EXP all those years I was working for AA. And I'd really like his million+ mile status....
 

FrequentFlierCA

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Not to rehash, but APA is barking up the wrong tree here. Not only is the JBA immaterial to its contract, it is opposing something that will not, in fact, reduce pilot flying time and will bring revenue to the company.

You know, that revenue that employee salaries are paid with.
 

upsilon

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Aug 20, 2002
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I’m sure the gist of some of the previous posts in this thread (and the first-name references about aliases) was lost on those not familiar with Holly Hegeman's former Plane Business BB and the pre-2002 version of this USAviationBB. They were interesting times for those of us who were AA/TWA Frequent Flyers as well as followers of aviation stocks and financials.

I resurrect this thread because it is the most recent on the subject of AA/BA ATI and because I want to pose the following question to the OP:

Eric, you often cite Holly and her newsletter Plane Business Banter in your posts; and I certainly agree that she is very knowledgeable about the industry. But last weekend, in her newsletter she said (I am paraphrasing):
‘In the third attempt at immunity, the two airlines have waited too long and blown the chance to get it - because any deal could have been approved this year; and now all bets are off with the new administration coming into office in January.’​
You however seem (to me) to believe that, in view of the previously granted SkyTeam and StarAlliance ATI, the BA/AA request is a ‘gimme’. Was your opinion based on a GOP White House?

I would also be interested in the opinion of others who have posted on this subject (e.g. FWAAA). I personally will be greatly disappointed if ATI is not granted.

And I have just read that the ‘new’ Delta (after the NW merger) is objecting to the CO attempt to join in the *A group ATI.
 

FWAAA

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I think that too much emphasis is placed on the party of the President; plenty of mergers happened during Pres Clinton's terms. Additionally, NW and KLM obtained their ATI in 1993, also during Pres Clinton's reign. FWIW, I think DL/NW would have been approved just as quickly next year as this year.

While I disagreed with the outcome of the two prior ATI applications by AA/BA, I could understand the arguments of the opposition. There was no price at which DL, NW, CO or US could buy LHR slots until earlier this year. Had AA/BA been granted ATI back then, there could have been no competitive response except for UA and VS.

Of course, there was no cast-in-stone rule that you had to fly to LHR to successfully connect passengers in/to Europe. AMS and FRA both work well for SkyTeam and *A, and the dominant carriers there control as large a percentage of flights to/from those airports as AA/BA control at LHR. But they have been open airports for quite a while. No slots required.

Now, however, that last objection has been removed. ANY airline can fly to LHR and each of the legacies proved it by buying slots and basically abandoning LGW earlier this year. Sure, they're expensive, but they've available. CO is rumoured to have spent over $200 million on slots for its three daily flights.

I think ATI is a gimmee this time, and without any of that "give up most of your slots" nonsense. SkyTeam and *A have ATI to Europe - and there is no rational competitive reason for denying AA/BA their alliance to try to screw passengers by coordinating price, schedules and sharing profits on those routes.
 
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eolesen

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I agree with Holly that they should have requested this in April, right after Open Skies went into effect.

For whatever reason, they didn't. And now, with transition and all the other stuff that goes along with it, I'd be shocked to see any movement on ATI until March 2009.

I don't agree with her that it's too late, for a couple reasons...


1) CO also has an active ATI application to join Star Alliance, so I don't think DOT/DOJ can rightfully block one application and still approve the other. CO has UA's blessing, so follow the money..... It's likely there are only a few degrees of separation between UA and key officials in the incoming Obama administration....

2) DLNW is now the world's largest airline, and AFKL combined is one of the largest in Europe. That takes a bit of wind out of their argument in opposing both the AA/BA and CO/*A applications.

3) LH is slowly reinacting the Anshluss in trying to take over every airline it can in Europe: OS, AZ, BD, are somewhat certain, and it's likely that SK will fall into their arms at some point in the future. Certainly if CO can get ATI with UA and the largest owner of airlines in Europe, letting AA, IB, and BA link up would be granting parity.

4) Denying AA/BA/IB will be seen by the UK (except for Branson) and Spain as a protectionist or even xenophobic move, something commonly associated with the Bush administration. I don't think Obama wants to do anything that would associate himself with Bush, so the lesser of two evils would be to grant parity.

5) The EU is trying to negotiate the second phase of Open Skies with the US. The US doesn't have too many chips to bargain with; if the EU sees blocking AA/BA/IB in a negative light (and the UK is still seeking their pound of flesh for having had to open up LHR), then it's likely that could have the effect of rolling back the clock, something the US does not want to do. Granting parity is again the lesser of two evils.


The new AG is Eric Holder, who was DAG under the Clinton administration. DOJ probably won't object, but I could be wrong.

The wild cards are in that we still don't know who will head up Transportation. If it's another moderate, I'd say chances are better than not.

Jane Garvey, who headed FAA under both Clinton and Bush is one candidate. Again, a moderate. Others under consideration are Mort Downey (Clinton era DOT), Dick Gephardt (ex D-MO) and Kathleen Sebelius (Gov - KS).
 

upsilon

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Aug 20, 2002
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Eric and FWAAA. thanks for the thoughtful responses. I agree with all of your points. Holly was right about the delay; but the 'table is still set' for ATI approval.
 

FrequentFlierCA

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And I have just read that the ‘new’ Delta (after the NW merger) is objecting to the CO attempt to join in the *A group ATI.

Delta is touching the heights of hypocrisy on this one. Now that they're the world's biggest the won't brook any competition? Sounds like sour grapes from a bad breakup. Get over it and focus on making your product better to compete against CO instead of trying to stifle competition.
 

Ralph

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As a reminder, stick to the topic. No personal attacks on other members. Time off is being given. No further warnings. Thank you.
 

frontline

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Despite Hill's fear-mongering lies to the contrary, ATI usually results in more native flying rather than less. The latest proof? CO has announced new nonstops IAH-FRA, *A member LH's hub:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/081204/lath513.html?.v=31

Route begins next November 1, when CO will be a member of *A.

Don't be surprised by this. Captain Hill is as much a politician as he is a pilot. Fear-mongering is second nature to him if it suits his agenda.
 

upsilon

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Aug 20, 2002
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On another thread (recently closed when it went off-topic) I posted that I had read reports about Congressional activity seeking to not only block the AA/BA/IB ATI, but also eliminate the existing ATI for U.S. carriers now in Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

Rather than start a new thread, I am bringing this one back to post more on the matter I found here. Excerpts:

Last week, the US House Transportation Committee approved its Chairman's [James Oberstar (D-Minn)] amendment to an essential FAA funding bill.
  • First of all, the bill "sunsets" US approval of global alliances.
  • All existing antitrust approvals for alliances are to be withdrawn in three years.
  • And, although it is unstated, any existing application before the DoT must now be under threat.
  • But those most concerned will be American Airlines and British Airways, whose operating alliance is again on the table; also Continental, which is awaiting its own approval for admission to the Star Alliance.
I'm quite sure the amendment will not remain in the bill without a fight; but this proposal will, to my mind, make the AA/BA/IB ATI muchj more contentious for approval by the Executive branch.
 
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eolesen

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Sounds great to Blowberstar's constituency, but do the Dems really want to be the party responsible for getting Delta and Continental kicked out of LHR?....

Don't think for a moment that the UK, DE, and JP won't reinstate the restrictions that existed in the bilaterals immediately preceeding the Open Skies agreements. And that would presumably include reinstating restrictions on access to LHR, frequencies to France, and capacity to Germany, all of which were highly restrictive prior to Open Skies.