ABA 2010: Current Trends in International Aviation

October 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

By P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Third panel of the meeting was titled Current Trends in International Aviation and was moderated by Arthur Molins, Lufthansa German Airlines. Panelists included Shawn Christensen, Westjet; Sam Poderesky, Department of Transportation; Paul Jasinski, British Airways; Jaun Carlos Mencio, LAN Airlines; and a representative from Ethiopian Airlines whose name did not appear in the program (it was given from the podium, but I unfortunately did not capture it).

Poderesky began with comments on new regulations on passenger rights in commercial aviation. He stated that the rules were relatively new, so that much were still being learned about them. He noted that these regulations dealt with delayed flights, Tarmac delays, and reporting of certain data on airline websites. He said that so far there have not been any major problems with the new regulations since they have been implemented.

Jasinski discussed a new notice of proposed rule making that could extend many of these requirements to foreign carriers. He addressed the problems of extraterritoriality with this proposed rule making, but stated that a seamless system was a desirable thing for both enhancing service to passengers, but also to create a manageable regulatory network with which airlines interact. He said that harmonizing these regulations would be very favorable.

Mencio stated that regulating customer service was something that was often handled by the market, stating that his airline was up to standard because it wanted to compete. He also, addressed extraterritoriality and that extraterritorial implementation of regulations have cultural issues as well. He stated that in South American markets the view of airline service on a variety of levels was culturally different from American perspectives.

The Ethiopian Airlines representative stated that a patchwork of international regulations could be very difficult for smaller airlines to navigate. He said that this burden needed to be dealt with in order to allow these types of regulations to be effective but also to allow small airlines to continue to function.

The discussion then turned to airline finance issues, open skies agreements, consolidation of airlines, and numerous other international issues.

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