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For more global news, data, analysis and features, please go to: http://www.AirGuideOnline.com/professional.htm Sep 25, 2006

IATA's Bisignani calls for liberalization, consolidation. IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said overly restrictive foreign ownership rules prevent "meaningful consolidation and perpetuate inefficiency." In a speech yesterday to the ICAO Symposium on Liberalization in Dubai, Bisignani said, "the flags on the tails of our aircraft are so heavy they are sinking our industry," and argued that airlines will have difficulty achieving long-term profitability without the ability to consolidate across borders. Sep 19, 2006

IATA's Bisignani said that more than 98% of global airline traffic is still governed by bilateral agreements with ownership or principal place of business restrictions, he said, adding: "The 60-year-old rules that govern our industry are in need of a nice retirement party...The world is changing and so must air transport." Sep 19, 2006

IATA's Bisignani said that the need to liberalize ownership regulations and loosen air treaty restrictions "is immediate and urgent," noting that a US-EU open skies agreement alone "would add $5 billion to the bottom line of the industry." He said airlines must have "basic commercial freedoms" and the ability to "merge and consolidate where it makes sense." Bisignani rejected the notion that security, often cited by governments as the reason for maintaining restrictive aviation policies, would be compromised by liberalization. Drawing parallels to the merchant marine, he said, "There is no valid national security argument for national ownership rules. Why should airlines be treated differently than the strategic sectors of telecoms and banking?" Sep 19, 2006

US, 'sober-minded' China pledge aviation cooperation at summit. Top US and Chinese aviation officials meeting yesterday in Washington stressed the need to cooperate on technology and other key areas as air services between the nations accelerate. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said China and the US share similar concerns over air traffic control, safety and high traffic growth rates and pledged to share technology and coordinate plans for the future. FAA, which Blakey noted has been working in China "for decades," will open a new office in Shanghai in addition to its current office in Beijing. Sep 19, 2006

European firms pay voluntary offsets for fuel emissions. Many European companies pay voluntary offsets, or investments in nonpolluting energy projects, when their employees fly on commercial airlines. The offsets are linked to the carbon dioxide emissions of each flight. U.S. companies have been slower to adopt the voluntary offsets related to business travel but are starting to catch up, experts say. Sep 18, 2006
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Date:Sep 25, 2006
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