The United States, the European Union and the Ownership and Control of Airlines

In this article (Paragraph No. 25,151) the author studies some of the critical and timely U.S.-EU aspects of foreign ownership and control of airlines. The author notes that the U.S., while insisting on American ownership and control of U.S. carriers, was quick to accept the "internationalization" of foreign airlines as those carriers and their governments responded to economic difficulties and rising operating costs by opening the industry to cross-border investment. In 2001, the U.S. negotiated with its Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) partners the first multilateral open skies agreement that also allowed multinational ownership of the participating foreign airlines. More recently, a decision by the European court of Justice, holding that all non-European Community countries (and especially the U.S.) must accept Community airlines owned by nationals of any Community state, has given new momentum to the trend. But it remains to be seen just how far some European governments may be willing--in the interests of European unity--to see expansive new airline competition in their major gateways, let alone the potential disappearance of national symbols like Lufthansa or Air France. The author, who negotiated the APEC and other aviation agreements on behalf of the U.S., outlines the events of the past few years in this emerging and controversial area. He also diplomatically questions whether European government officials are prepared to move as quickly toward a unified European aviation system as are the unity-intent officials of the European Commission. And, even if the governments are so prepared, do they yet appreciate the consequences in terms of airline identities and institutional restructuring within Europe, the author asks.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Aviation Law Institute

    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E Jackson Boulevard
    Chicago, IL  United States  60604
  • Authors:
    • Mendelsohn, Allan I
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Transfer Binder 1: 2001 to 2004
  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: pp 13171-13189
  • Monograph Title: Issues in Aviation Law and Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150725
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 2 2009 3:17PM