British Midland has reacted with disappointment to today`s news that British and American negotiators have failed to reach an agreement on liberalisation of air travel between London and the United States.
The airline has campaigned for new competition on routes between Heathrow and the US for two years. Under the current rules, known as the Bermuda II agreement, only four airlines - British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and American Airlines - are allowed to fly to the US from Heathrow.
Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of British Midland, said:
“We strongly hoped that negotiators could reach an agreement on this occasion. Liberalisation of the rules would bring immediate benefits to consumers, to British business and to UK plc.”
“The transatlantic routes are the largest intercontinental travel markets in the world. Yet travellers suffer from a lack of competition. Business travellers pay far more than their European counterparts, whilst reductions in capacity being introduced by airlines will inevitably lead to increases in leisure fares.”
“British Midland is ready, willing and able to bring new competition to these routes. If we could do so, we would create thousands of new jobs and would be able to invest in regional transatlantic services from our developing hub at Manchester.”
“It is a great disappointment that these talks have stalled again. But we remain committed to fighting for new competition and will continue to campaign for a fair deal for consumers.”