Open Skies Agreement Pros and Cons

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So has this meant a change in pas­senger selec­tion since the March agree­ment? It was pre­dicted that there would be a jump in the number of flights to New York, but now there are also addi­tional options for those who want to fly to Los Angeles, Houston, Wash­ington and more. Of course, the same applies if you fly the other way. Tours around the world are always pop­ular with vaca­tioners, so being able to choose from more options to decide which air­line to fly with when jumping from Europe to the US or vice versa will likely be a sig­nif­i­cant advan­tage. In the late 1980s, glas­nost and per­e­stroika were huge polit­ical move­ments, but largely show­cases. Cher­nobyl is an excel­lent example of the Soviet attempt to con­trol the nar­ra­tive and the will­ing­ness to lie not only to its cit­i­zens, but also to its allies about the full effect of radi­a­tion. At that time, the USSR was “reducing” its mil­i­tary spending (they had just come out of the book) while trying to appear more open, which was a way to turn the West‘s eyes away from the affairs of the USSR. It was signed at the twi­light of the USSR — at the end of 1989 there were revolts in East Ger­many and in many satel­lite Soviet states. The Soviet economy had bathed, they had lacked every­thing, and they had obtained wheat from the West. The wheels came from the tractor, so to speak, so the Rus­sians signed agree­ments with the West to appear more inclu­sive and open, to ensure food, cur­rency and polit­ical sup­port. The Soviet Navy and the U.S. Navy con­ducted joint exer­cises, and USSR war­ships docked in San Diego, while U.S. Navy ships docked in Vladi­vostok. It was a show.

This show included Open Skies. With Heathrow Air­port cur­rently at full capacity, there are con­cerns that the Open Skies deal will increase pres­sure on the hub as new routes are intro­duced, raising the spectre of fur­ther delays and bag­gage issues. How­ever, the AUC‘s Fre­mantle says Heathrow should be able to increase capacity along­side the increase in new flights. “We have sup­ported addi­tional capacity at Heathrow in gen­eral,” he explains. “Heathrow is full; [it is working] at full capacity. so nothing can be done at the moment, but we sup­ported it to the end. “These two things actu­ally go hand in hand; more capacity at Heathrow and open skies. This should create a sit­u­a­tion where pas­sen­gers have more flights and more choices. As with the Intermediate-​​Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which the gov­ern­ment recently with­drew, Russia has not always been a per­fect party to the agree­ment. For years, for example, they restricted flights via Kalin­ingrad, a Russian enclave on the Polish border; and Abk­hazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. In par­tic­ular, they announced a lower limit of 500 kilo­me­ters for open-​​air flights over Kalin­ingrad in 2014 and lim­ited sev­eral flights to more than 500 kilo­me­ters, according to the For­eign Ministry.

They also denied air access to a ten-​​kilometer cor­ridor over the dis­puted region of Georgia, which Russia claims to be part of Russia but which is rec­og­nized by the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity as Georgia. The United States responded by restricting Russian flights over its ter­ri­tory. Engel sup­ports U.S. restric­tions. The State Depart­ment con­cluded that the actions taken by Russia do not con­sti­tute an obstacle to the col­lec­tion of U.S. intel­li­gence in the ter­ri­to­ries. But they found that the Russian restric­tions vio­lated Article VI of the treaty. I pos­tu­late that coun­tries look at the deal from a time when rec­on­cil­i­a­tion was pos­sible and Russia could join the West – there were dis­cus­sions about NATO membership.

When Open Heaven is gone, nothing changes. It simply removes the façade of peace that we have been building for 20 years and pre­tends that it is not there. Last year, min­is­ters across the EU backed a deal that would allow any air­line based in the region to operate flights to the US, while any US-​​registered air­line would also be able to operate flights to des­ti­na­tions across the EU. An excep­tion to the deal, how­ever, is that EU air­lines do not have carte blanche to operate their own domestic routes in the US. The pact will now enter into force in March and has been hailed by many for effec­tively lib­er­al­ising the transat­lantic avi­a­tion market and giving air­lines more freedom to operate dif­ferent flights between the two regions. According to the Civil Avi­a­tion Authority, under the agree­ment, more than 60% of pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling on long-​​haul routes from the UK will fall under the juris­dic­tion of a “lib­er­alised” agree­ment that does not seek to limit the number of inter­na­tional flights that air­lines can offer. More than 90% of the UK‘s inter­na­tional air traffic – including inter­na­tional air­space – will take place under the Open Skies agree­ment or other out­door trans­port pacts, he said. The most obvious advan­tage of the deal for UK air trav­ellers is that when booking a flight across the Atlantic from Europe, there are many more options to choose from – and with more choice comes the pos­si­bility of cheaper fares. “The lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the avi­a­tion market is good for con­sumers because it lowers prices and offers more choice,” said James Fre­mantle, head of indus­trial affairs at the Air Trans­port Users‘ Council (AUC). “There are cheaper air fares because there is more com­pe­ti­tion. This means you have more choices of themes and air­lines that operate the routes, which ulti­mately means cheaper fares. A number of air­lines have announced plans to open new routes from the end of March to take advan­tage of the deal.

Air France, Delta, Con­ti­nental Air­lines, North­west Air­lines and US Air­ways have all announced plans to launch var­ious new flights from London to des­ti­na­tions in the US, while British Air­ways is set to go fur­ther and create an air­line – ini­tially named Open­Skies – that will focus on offering flights it was unable to offer before the deal was finalised. “British Air­ways has already started its pure busi­ness class flight from Paris to New York right away, so this is another choice for pas­sen­gers com­pared to what was pre­vi­ously avail­able,” Fre­mantle said in March. “I can‘t think of any­thing bad that can come out of it from the consumer‘s point of view. This should really open up the market and offer better choice and cheaper rates. The Tele­graph has cre­ated a table com­paring the dif­ferent fares likely to have been offered between Heathrow Air­port and Los Angeles after March 30 this year. Of the six air­lines selected by the news­paper, British Air­ways offered the cheapest fare at £300, while the other fares did not exceed the £399 mark. From the moment Russia emerged from the Soviet rubble, they had called for the removal of Jackson-​​Vanik and the estab­lish­ment of normal, lasting trade rela­tions. The United States was not inter­ested in doing so, as Russia had long escaped inter­na­tional law and had never fully embraced democracy.

The Chechen wars saw serious human rights vio­la­tions, including a very pow­erful rape cam­paign (read Andrew Meier‘s book on this), installed strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, and then began many con­flicts, including Georgia in 2008. Russia has never adhered to the rule of law, it has no truly free press, and much of the country is run by a cadre of leaders who are almost polit­i­cally con­nected and empow­ered by Putin. But as long as deals like Open Skies are in place and Jackson-​​Vanik is gone, it gives the appear­ance of a cer­tain will­ing­ness on Russia‘s part to enter into dia­logue with the West. .

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