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    US carriers in uproar over Icelandair US-Cuba charter plans

    Increase font  Decrease font Release Date:2021-12-31  Author:Justine  Views:3004
    Tips:Icelandair (FI, Reykjavik Keflavik) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to operate 170 round-trip charter flights between the United States and Havana Int'l, Cuba prompting a flurry of objections from US carriers ac

    Icelandair (FI, Reykjavik Keflavik) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to operate 170 round-trip charter flights between the United States and Havana Int'l, Cuba prompting a flurry of objections from US carriers active in the market.

    The Icelandic carrier is planning to operate 136 round-trips from Miami Int'l and 17 each from Orlando Int'l and Houston Intc'l between February 1 and May 31, 2022, on behalf of Anmart Air tour operator using B757-200 aircraft.

    Shortly after the application, iAero Airways (SWQ, Greensboro) objected to Icelandair's request on the grounds that granting the application would be detrimental to US carriers as they would be crowded out of the gradually reopening Cuban market. iAero pointed out that while it and other US carriers have resources allocated to the Cuban market and are "putting them back to work" as demand returns, Icelandair is acting opportunistically without a comparable long-term investment. iAero underlined that it has aircraft available to operate on behalf of Anmart Air, and thus the market would not suffer if Icelandair was denied the rights.

    The US-based charter and leisure specialist added that Icelandair was becoming "unduly reliant" on seventh-freedom operations from the US to markets other than Iceland. iAero said, based on Icelandair's own data, that last year, the carrier operated 1,601 round-trips from Reykjavik Keflavik to the US.

    "By comparison, Icelandair proposes to operate 170 seventh-freedom round trip flights over a 119-day period, which is an annualized rate of 521 round trip flights. More than 20% of Icelandair's US operations will be seventh freedom operations. In these circumstances, this is undue reliance... The Applications appear to reflect Icelandair's intent to establish a year-round seventh-freedom operation between the United States and Cuba," iAero pointed out.

    GLOBALX (GXA, Miami Int'l) and World Atlantic Airlines (WL, Miami Int'l) echoed iAero Airways' concerns.

     
     

     
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