Serbian Airline Must Meet Standard U.S. Ownership and Control Requirements
WASHINGTON–The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), argued in a recent U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) filing that JAT Airways’ application to provide air services to the United States through its partner Etihad Airways should be denied because JAT fails to satisfy the standard U.S. requirement that foreign airlines serving the United States be owned and controlled by the airline’s country or that country’s citizens.
“Requiring a foreign airline serving the United States to be owned and controlled by its country or its country’s citizens is among the core principles of the standard air services agreements that permit the United States to open new markets for its airlines and maintain good jobs for U.S. workers,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.
Because Etihad Airways is preparing to assume management of JAT and to take a 49 percent stake in the airline, it appears that Etihad will have effective control of the Serbian carrier if that transaction is completed. The United States does not currently have a bilateral agreement with Serbia, but such agreements require an airline to be substantially owned by that country or citizens.
“No reasonable argument exists for departing from the core principles of U.S. air services agreements unless and until the DOT can determine the control Etihad will exert over JAT’s operations,” said Capt. Moak. “DOT should deny JAT’s request and ensure that our air service relationships with foreign countries strengthen the U.S. airline industry and secure good jobs for U.S. airline industry workers.”
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