Breaking News

EU plans to relax rules on airlines' transatlantic wet leasing deals

Stock MarketsMar 20, 2017 03:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. Contrails from a passenger plane is seen during the sunset in Berlin

By Julia Fioretti

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission wants to scrap restrictions placed on EU airlines leasing planes and crew from U.S. carriers, to resolve a long-standing dispute between the two sides.

The leasing of crewed planes from another airline - known as wet-leasing - is a common practice in the industry and the 10-year-old EU-U.S. Open Skies aviation services agreement envisaged a liberal regime for wet leasing.

But a dispute arose after the EU separately in 2008 imposed a seven-month duration limit, renewable once, on European airlines wet-leasing from non-EU carriers.

The United States retaliated by imposing similar duration limits on EU carriers wet-leasing from other EU carriers on their routes to and from the United States, making it hard for European airlines to plan routes as they would not know if the wet-leased crews and planes would have permission to fly.

The Commission is now seeking a mandate from EU member states to negotiate an unrestricted wet-leasing agreement with the United States - the first such agreement the EU would have - to resolve the impasse, but that has raised fears among some critics that airlines could use wet-leasing as a way to operate regular services with cheaper crews.

But supporters say this is unlikely to happen as pay levels are similar on both sides of the Atlantic and while Germany has opposed a liberalized wet-lease regime with the United States, most other member states are in favor.


In December the Commission proposed introducing an exception to the duration limit on wet-leasing deals if negotiated in an international agreement, to pave the way for a liberalization with the United States.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), representing pilots, fears that change could open up the possibility of unrestricted wet-leasing agreements with other countries with whom the EU is currently negotiating aviation agreements, such as Qatar, Turkey and the countries forming the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle (OL:NWC) has faced criticism for employing crew from Thailand, although it has made an effort recently to employ more Europeans.

In the proposal the Commission said "other third countries may line up in the future to seek similar derogations, but each request would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and exemptions should be granted only when adequately justified."

The ECA cited Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, as saying in a negotiating round earlier this month with the EU on an aviation agreement that Qatar would not accept a less favorable regime on wet-leasing than those granted to other countries.

EU plans to relax rules on airlines' transatlantic wet leasing deals

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Write your thoughts here
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post also to:
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email