To Cabotage or not to Cabotage...that is the question

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I am not employed in the airline industry. I've read ALPA's Presidential Questionnaire and I've seen discussion about cabotage from time to time. I've mostly seen posts from airline pilots who oppose this policy, but I don't know why. This is not flame bait, but a genuine query into why people support or oppose this policy.

Why is it bad for US airlines?
Why aren't US airlines interested in opening intra-national foreign routes?
Wouldn't this policy increase competition?
What unintended consequences would result from implementing cabotage?

I have no position on this policy, but I'm in search of one. Please help me understand the issue from your point of view.

Thanks.</O:p
 

braunpilot

What day is it?
Why is it bad for US airlines?
Foreign carriers can charge less because they pay their pilots, fa, etc a lot less because of cost of living in that country.

Why aren't US airlines interested in opening intra-national foreign routes?
If you were American Airlines would you want to compete with British Airways or even better an airline that operates out of a third world country where they pay their people less than COL here?

Wouldn't this policy increase competition?
Maybe, but I doubt it. My guess is that it may even bankrupt some airlines because they cannot charge enough to pay for the run (like TWA under Carl Icon).

What unintended consequences would result from implementing cabotage?
Our carriers would be forced to pay even less for all those workers when they do not make enough to pay for life as it is. Think of it this way. You own a local motel in your hometown. Then a group of foreign investors come in and undercut your motel by say 50%. How are you suppose to compete with them.

Also, I do not think that the maintenance would be near as good as US airlines. Yes I have read the newspapers/web in the past year but think about a chinese airliner coming into land in Harrison, AR and crashing. How pissed off do you think all the locals/federal government would be?

That's just my two cents.

On a side note, I know that British Airways wanted to put the Concorde on the LAX to HNL run prior to their untimely demise. Would have been interesting to see that happen huh? Oh well, maybe there will be another supersonic bussiness or airline jet later.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Quite a few foreign airlines are either fully state run or state supported to a much greater degree than the US. There can be no real competition against Emirates because you have the pockets of the UAE supporting it, for example.
 

skydog

New Member
I don't think the world is ready for cabotage yet. Imagine the security issues of an EL Al flight operating in this country. How about the safety issues with some of the Chinese airlines. I'll stick to the American airlines, the safest in the world.
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
Do you really want Yuri's Vintage Airlines flying Aeroflot's discarded Tupelov's with pilots that are paid in vodka flying domestic flights?
 

bike21

9-5 Ruins Lives
I don't think the world is ready for cabotage yet. Imagine the security issues of an EL Al flight operating in this country. How about the safety issues with some of the Chinese airlines. I'll stick to the American airlines, the safest in the world.
FWIW, El Al already operates here. Really cool to see at LAX with those blacked out SUVs and police cars following it around on the ground :)
 

JA Yawd Bwoy

Well-Known Member
I'll stick to the American airlines, the safest in the world.
I don't know about that, compared to Europe, I would say they are the same as Europe... Every major US airline has had at least 5 incidents, not so much for the Euro airliners... maybe I am wrong but I have not heard of major Euro airliner fatalities such as TWA800, AA587, etc. Well there was that jet that crashed after everyone went unconcience... btw lets not even mention Australia... :)
 

Screaming_Emu

Joe Conventional
Foreign carriers can charge less because they pay their pilots, fa, etc a lot less because of cost of living in that country.
Obviously true for third world countries, but as far as developed countries go, I'd say we have some of the worst pay for flight crews out of most places.
 

typhoonpilot

Well-Known Member
Quite a few foreign airlines are either fully state run or state supported to a much greater degree than the US. There can be no real competition against Emirates because you have the pockets of the UAE supporting it, for example.

Emirates does not receive any subsidies from the Dubai government. In fact, they pay a dividend to the government every year.

Are some of their costs less because of where they are domiciled? = yes they are, but not for pilots and flight attendants.

I'll stick to the American airlines, the safest in the world.
Well, that's debatable. BA, Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and others easily match or exceed the safety records of U.S. carriers. Emirates ( knock wood ) has never had a fatal accident.

I really have no interst in cabotage as it would be too long a trip for me :). The bloody Australian trips are already far too much time away from home. We don't need to add a 9 day DXB-JFK-LAX-JFK-DXB pairing.


Typhoonpilot


P.S. Look for our B777-200LR in LAX on Sunday the 26th.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
Thanks (almost) everyone for the input.

McCain supports cabotage.
I know. You must have missed that in my original post.

I've read ALPA's Presidential Questionnaire...</O:p
That wasn't much help.


This shed some light on the subject that I hadn't thought about

Foreign carriers can charge less because they pay their pilots, fa, etc a lot less because of cost of living in that country.
I guess this is the same argument other industries made about preventing US jobs from being shipped overseas. Doesn't that beg the question though: what foriegn-made goods do we use that have already displaced other US workers. If we demand that John Q. Public pays US COL prices for air travel within the USA, shouldn't he be able to demand we pay US COL prices for autos, cameras, computers, clothes, or *insert cheap knickknack made in China here*?

Do you really want Yuri's Vintage Airlines flying Aeroflot's discarded Tupelov's with pilots that are paid in vodka flying domestic flights?
Do you really think they could operate a successful business in the US?

I live abroad, and in my experience some foreign airlines offer much better service than US carriers. Maybe they can afford better service because of the country where their operations are based, I don't know, but I think it's more about the mentality of customer service than anything else. I'm always curious why you can get good customer service from one place and not from another. (Not limited to airline industry.) It doesn't cost anymore for a service employee to be friendly and helpful as it does to be rude and act like the customer is interrupting their day.
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
Do you really think they could operate a successful business in the US?

I live abroad, and in my experience some foreign airlines offer much better service than US carriers. Maybe they can afford better service because of the country where their operations are based, I don't know, but I think it's more about the mentality of customer service than anything else. I'm always curious why you can get good customer service from one place and not from another. (Not limited to airline industry.) It doesn't cost anymore for a service employee to be friendly and helpful as it does to be rude and act like the customer is interrupting their day.
Sure they could be successful here. Why? Because they would be dirt cheap.

Just look at RyanAir over in Europe. Their customer service is appalling, but there flights are always sold out, because it costs 40 bucks to fly from London to Dublin. People don't care about service when they decide to give their money to an airline. The only time they care is when they are actually on the airplane. Sure the business traveler that flies once a week wouldn't be flying them, but Ma, Pa, grandma and grandpa and all the grandkids certainly would be flying them on their yearly vacation.
 
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