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Update NEWS


NEWS


started a formal process to acquire an AOC,” it confirmed.


easyJet is lobbying the UK government and the EU to ensure the continuation of a fully liberal and deregulated aviation market within the UK and Europe. This would mean that easyJet and all European airlines could continue to operate as they do today. However, uncertainty remains over the future direction of air service policy as a result of the Brexit vote.


easyJet is in talks about an AOC in Europe


easyJet looks to Europe


UK carrier easyJet has started discussions with aviation regulators about establishing an AOC (Air Operator Certificate) in a European country owing to the uncertainty following the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union (EU).


The airline says that as part of


its contingency planning before the referendum it had held what it described as “informal discussions” with European regulators to enable it to continue to fly across Europe, as it does currently. “easyJet has now


Thaw in US-Cuba relations triggers plan for new flight links with Havana


As part of the Obama administration’s historic effort to normalise relations with Cuba, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed to select eight US airlines to begin scheduled flights between 10 US points and the Caribbean island’s capital Havana from as early as this autumn. Having already allocated all


requested route licences for flights between the US and other points in Cuba, the DOT has faced the difficult job of delivering the best connectivity and trade opportunities for the current 20 daily flights available to US carriers under the new Air Service Agreement (ASA). A dozen US airlines applied for the chance to operate scheduled passenger and cargo service to Havana. Collectively, the airlines applied for nearly 60 flights per


day to Havana. The department said its principal objective in making its proposed selections was to “maximise public benefits”, including choosing airlines that offered and could maintain the best ongoing service between the US and Havana. The proposed allocation rights


were also based on serving areas of substantial Cuban-American population, as well as to important aviation hub cities, and will see six flights a day to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.


The airlines receiving the tentative


awards are Alaska Airlines (Los Angeles), American Airlines (Charlotte and Miami), Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Miami and New York), Frontier Airlines (Miami), JetBlue Airways (Fort Lauderdale, New York and Orlando), Southwest Airlines (Fort Lauderdale and Tampa), Spirit Airlines (Fort


Lauderdale) and United Airlines (Houston and Newark). US citizens’ interest in visiting Cuba has grown since relations between the two nations started to thaw in December 2014. Nearly 160,000 US leisure travellers flew to Cuba last year, along with hundreds of thousands of Cuban- Americans visiting family. Objections to the DOT’s


tentative decision were due to be filed and answered by late July and the DOT expects to reach a final decision later this summer.


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2016 ISSUE 5 7


It says that until the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations are clearer, it does not need to make any other structural or operational changes and, despite the AOC application, has “no plans” to move its headquarters away from London’s Luton Airport, where it has been based since its launch 20 years ago. Carolyn McCall, CEO, easyJet, said: “Nothing will change overnight. Much depends on the new agreement the UK will reach with EU member states. The aviation industry knows how to overcome challenges and deal with change, and that is exactly what we will do.”


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