TIACA is calling on countries that support the severance of cargo from passenger rights to reach agreement on a separate cargo annex that could become the first step towards market liberalization and openness and unlock the significant economic benefits that can be derived from a more open and competitive air cargo market.
The Association supports liberalization of air cargo and express delivery services for unfettered market access and believes bilateral negotiations should be unrestricted as to the ability of air carriers to move air cargo in any international market between two points anywhere in the world.
Larry Coyne, a member of TIACA’s Industry Affairs committee and Chief Executive Officer of Coyne Airways, says TIACA sees air cargo and express transportation as economic development tools, facilitating the movement of goods between all markets.
“We believe that a separate cargo annex should be pursued as the first step towards market liberalization and openness. Often developing countries see the advantages of market openness for the movement of goods before they recognize the same advantages on the passenger side. Present bilateral negotiating structures often inhibit the growth of air cargo, due to political and structural resistance. It is TIACA’s intent to make a modest shift in the current bilateral log jam which might lead to a general application of open skies, based on a balance of benefits to both markets. This will encourage wider liberalization. Positive progress towards multi-lateral freedoms for cargo would support the current parallel work on liberalization principles in the OECD and the Trans-Atlantic Common Area negotiations between the EU and the USA,” he stated.
Under this approach, a new generic agreement for cargo flights would grant the same rights and privileges, on a reciprocal basis, to all signatories. TIACA realizes that cabotage may still not be open for discussion in some countries and would therefore accept, as a matter of pragmatic progress, to exclude it where it may present a negotiation obstacle at this stage.
Larry Coyne added: “The benefits of liberalized agreements would be open to all carriers, irrespective of national ownership. We would like to see a mutually acceptable supervisory body be responsible for the transparent and equitable operation of all resulting agreements.”
TIACA says its aim is for the establishment of a multi-lateral group of countries permitting fifth, sixth and seventh freedom rights. Support is confidently expected from countries that already operate ‘open skies’ as well as those that have no existing national air carrier to protect. Such countries therefore have a need for openness in their markets with the hope of developing their own liberalized cargo services, either by combination carriers or all-cargo carriers.