USA/European Union: U.S. protectionism threatens next phase of open-skies talks

A key sticking point in negotiations over Open Skies II, which are set to resume in May, is the issue of foreign ownership of U.S. airlines.The competing views of Europe and the U.S. seemed to drift further apart this month: while in the U.S., Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, reaffirmed his support for tightening foreign-ownership restrictions by inserting protectionist language in legislation to reauthorize FAA funding, the European perspective is that restrictions must be loosened, not tightened, if airlines serving the market hoped to survive the recession.Source: Travel Weekly; find article here>>.

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