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AIRLINES EXPRESS SHOCK AT BRITISH ATTITUDE DURING U.S.-U.K. AVIATION TALKS

 AIRLINES EXPRESS SHOCK AT BRITISH ATTITUDE
 DURING U.S.-U.K. AVIATION TALKS
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Federal Express and United Airlines issued the following joint statement:
 British Airways has chosen to respond to legitimate concerns about its attempted takeover of USAir with arrogant disregard for the true concept of "Open Skies."
 The warning this week by British Airways that U.S. disapproval of the USAir deal would "put back the course of deregulation for many years" is baseless. It also is an offensive attempt to threaten the U.S. government into accepting words -- rather than actions -- as the basis of a new bilateral aviation relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.
 We find it ironic that British Airways raises the specter of a "fortress mentality in the U.K." In point of fact, that is what this is all about: breaking down the "fortress mentality" that has guided British aviation policy for years, shielding British Airways from competition from U.S. carriers.
 The British Airways/USAir deal must not be approved by the U.S. government until the British have done what they profess to be willing to do in opening one of the most restrictive aviation policies in the world.
 The British talk "Open Skies" while remaining wedded to a protectionist policy that would benefit British Airways at the expense of U.S. travelers and shippers. The so-called liberalization proposal the British tabled in Washington this week represents a step backward -- offering British Airways everything it wants now from the United States while telling U.S. carriers to accept vague promises of gradual improvement at some ill-defined point in the distant future in their ability to serve the U.K.
 That is not "Open Skies." Nor is it fair. It is a lopsided aviation and trade policy that leads U.S. carriers down a one-way street to second-class status in the competitive arena of the international marketplace.
 We urge our government to continue to insist on true "Open Skies," where all carriers compete on a free and equal basis governed by market forces and free from excessive government controls. The U.S. government must reject any liberalization schemes built on half- steps that may never be taken and promises that may never be kept. We're ready and willing to compete against a combined BA/USAir. We're ready and willing to open the U.S. market, the largest in the world, as long as other governments reciprocate.
 For the U.S. government to settle for less would jeopardize the long-term economic interests of the United States and the long-term competitiveness of U.S. air carriers.
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: American Airlines, Corporate Communications, 817-967-1577; Delta Air Lines, Public Relations, 404-715-2533; Federal Express, Public Relations, 901-395-3490; United Airlines, Corporate Communications, 708-952-5770; or Jerry M. Ray of Powell Tate, 202-434-8559, for the airlines/ CO: American Airlines; Delta Air Lines; Federal Express; United
 Airlines; USAir; British Airways ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


KD -- DC028 -- 7952 10/08/92 14:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1992
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