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PLazarus

US International Carriers?

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I have a question about which US carriers are able to operate international routes. If, in a hypothetical example, South West Airlines (SWA) wished to operate a flight from their KPHL hub to the UK (I know that they can't fly to EGLL, as per the Bermuda agreement), and if the countries (US and UK) agreed in their treaty to allow a further flight, could SWA operate that flight? They are not a "major" carrier, and I'm not sure what constitutes a "flag carrier", and whether "flag carriers" are the only ones permitted to operate internationally.Thanks,Bruce.

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Good question :D Anyone?By the way, what is the Bermuda agreement, what is it for?Bruno Francescoli :-waveStudent Pilot.KOPF PA28-161.

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Hi Bruno,The Bermuda Agreement (presumably transacted there)limits flights to/from EGLL (London Heathrow) to 2 UK and 2 US carriers. They are (at this time) British Airways and Virgin Atlantic (both UK carriers), and American and United (both US). I believe that the original 2 US carriers were PanAm and TWA. PanAm has gone (I believe United got that), and years before TWA was bought by American the then owner of the airline sold the Heathrow rights to American.The only other carrier I am aware of that does US to EGLL is Air New Zealand (KLAX-EGLL), but is neither UK nor US registered.Bruce.

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Hi Bruce,Thanks for the information, one quesition though, why did they make this limitation? In other words, why can't there by 4 US National Carriers flying into Bermuda? (Same with the UK)Bruno Francescoli :-waveStudent Pilot.KOPF PA28-161.

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I'm not sure. There may have noise / traffic limitations. Also, I would think that as the tran-Atlantic routes are the most lucrative (or were), that perhaps this was some form of regulation of the airlines able to take part in this route. Maybe someone else here knows more....Bruce.

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well....that explains why delta flies to gatwick...

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Yes- along with Northwest, Continental and US Air. The question is: could also Southwest? :)Bruce.

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Don't quote me on this, but I think reason for the limitations is a trade war between the countries. The US requires that its servicemen travel on US carriers, and british carriers would like to have some of that business and feel that the practice is unfair, so the limitations are probably meant to be a way of controlling the unfair competition. - Oyvind

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Hi Oyvind,That may be a part of the reasoning. I think another part lies with the fact that there were at the time only two British carriers with trans-Atlantic business, and the Brits wanted to keep the US airlines to two also to promote more even competition.Of course, now that there are only 2 out of 6 majors able to access Heathrow, those 2 most likely don't wish to see any further US carriers in on the action, as I'm sure is shared with BA and VA.I recall reading several years ago that Delta was offering flights from Boston to Gatwick several times a day; then United came in and offerred one flight to Heathrow (from Boston) and virtually blew the Delta business away. Heathrow must be *the* place to go to!Bruce.

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Hi, I wondered myself why the busy, crowded, ugly Heathrow is so popular. I guess its a better transit airport than Gatwick, but if the final destination is outside of the UK you might as well use Frankfurt or CDG.- Oyvind

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Hi BruceThis goes way back to my college internship with the Civil Aeronautics Board's Bureau of International Aviation (CAB/BIA).The CAB was the economic regulator of commercial air traffic and routes prior to "deregulation". When that occured most of the CAB went away. Back then it awarded routes, set airfares and generally governed the commercial aspect of airline life.Being an International Relations Major and flight junky I was selected to do an internship in early 80's there. So most of this stuff is pretty dated...At that time and I believe today international air-carrier operations is agreed to under a bi-lateral agreement between two soverign nations. The US Dept of State negotiates renewal of the agreements with the foreign governments. Through this process various restrictions and concessions are added. (I recall seeing the one with the Soviet Union flying into IAD that specified actual route and times they could fly).Anyway, airlines would then apply to the CAB (I suppose the DoT now) for authorization to service these routes. The routes then were awarded to the various carriers who applied based on analysis and politics.One of the most important aspects was the granting of "freedoms" or rights to carry passengers to different cities in the world. the 5th Freedom was the most sought after for it allowed for an airline to provide service between two cities in a foreign country. That is a Northwest flight could land at NRT, pick up passengers and fly to Osaka, basically competing with a Japanese domestic carrier. You'll probably find a better explaination doing a Google on it.So really, all SWA would have to do is apply to the DoT for authorization under the Anglo-US bilateral agreement and hope for approval.As far as Heathrow is concerned....politics.Tim757

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Thanks Tim. Sounds very complicated!Bruce.

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Maybe because it's just too busy on transatlantic routes?Because LHR has like +60 flights to the US. As you all know there is a rush hour on the atlantic with all the American/Canadian traffic to Europe.But here on Schiphol we have already 17 NWA flights, 2 COA, 2 USAIR, 2 UAL, so imagine all the other big ones :D FRA, CDG, ZRH.....Maybe because of that they won't have more airlines serving LHR.And I must say LHR sure is full!!! so maybe they even haven't got any slots left?Just my guess.....Greetz,Evert

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>Hi, I wondered myself why the busy, crowded, ugly Heathrow is so popular.http://www.hifisim.com/images/as2betateam.jpg

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HI All,Politics, partially..but mainly revenue!I worked for AA from day one at EGLL ( for 10 years )and its all about filling those business class seats on the KJFK run.It's all corporate contracts... twice weekly flyers on full fare ( although those corporate fares are much lower, sometimes 50 or 60% of full fare ).Why LHR?? Well first image. Doesn't matter what the reality of the airport is like, Heathrow is the one to go to. Same situation for Kennedy at the other end. Nowerdays it's super quick from Newark to Manhatten, but who wants to go to Newark?Transport. Those corporate boys have cars that meet them. They don't use trains, the tube or busses. Heathrow to West London HQ.. 30 minutes.American paid a lot of money to TW for those slots, but when I used to see the revenue / mile figures they got a good return ( generally )Paul ( now located in SPIM )

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