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Italian Parliamentary motion on Fifth Freedom rights of Singapore Airlines on Malpensa-New York flights
Rome, Italy - Presented by Honourable Marco Giovanni Reguzzoni (Lega Nord Padania)


Singapore Airlines has requested to operate the Milan Malpensa New York connection, this would allow the carrier, (arriving in Italy and proceeding to the United States), to carry out commercial services and embark passengers and goods not only between Singapore-Milan and Singapore-New York, but also from Milan to New York (something that would presumably trigger great interest for Malpensa from Gulf carriers: Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Airways);

the Italian-American flight in question is already covered by other carriers, but a new one operated by Singapore Airlines would bring more advantages as commercial services operated would increase and a would be a great potential in terms of transit passengers directed toward other intercontinental destinations thus increasing the long-range connections;

the flight operated by Singapore Airlines is particularly important for the social-economic system of Lombardy and Italy in general, and could give a further boost to trade relations with foreign countries, offering strong prospects for our business, especially at this time of economic crisis;

Italy has refused to grant Fifth Freedom rights to the Asian company. The reasons supporting this decision, based on a hypothetical decrease in traffic volume currently operated by the European airlines, do not seem to be strong enough to counterbalance the effects of the non-activation of the Milan-Singapore link: an economic loss as well as direct, indirect and induced employment loss. It could also result less attractive to foreign investors;

most of the existing bilateral agreements between Singapore and the European Union countries are covered by Fifth Freedom rights, and, given the refusal by Italy, the Asian company will be forced to operate the planned aircraft and crew from Milan-Malpensa to another European airport;

the process of de-hubbing, which involved the Malpensa airport in recent years has resulted in a decrease in passengers and flights which caused major financial losses. Passengers decreased from 23.4 million in 2007 to 18.9 million today; the number of Alitalia's weekly flights decreased from 1,238 in 2007 to 148 as of today. In the tourism sector, this represents an estimated loss of 770 million Euros while the cost of missed connections is valued 830 million Euros;

major European companies have moved their operations to other airports and the recent decision taken by Air France to leave the airport of Malpensa might result disruptive for the whole northern Italy air transport, transferring the new hub for intercontinental flights to Paris;

Article 19 of Decree-Law of 29 November 2008, No. 185, concerning 'Urgent measures to support families, work, employment and enterprises, and to redesign an anti-crisis strategic project for the national framework', Article 5-bis, provides that the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, promotes the development of new bilateral agreements in aviation sector, as well as modifying existing ones in order to increase the number of carriers allowed to operate on domestic, international and intercontinental routes, in order to maintain and ensure employment levels and international connections necessary for the development of the productive and social system of the affected areas, as well as to expand the number of destinations and frequencies that every party is allowed to operate, giving priority to carriers who keep the expected employment levels,

the Government is committed:

to comply with the provisions of Article 19, paragraph 5-bis of Decree-Law of 29 November 2008, promoting the development of new bilateral agreements in the field of aviation, as well as modifying existing ones, in order to increase the number of carriers allowed to operate on domestic, international and intercontinental routes, to maintain and ensure employment levels employment levels and international connections necessary for the development of the productive and social system of the affected areas, as well as to expand the number of destinations and frequencies that every party is allowed to operate, giving priority to carriers who keep the expected employment levels;

to grant without more delay the 'Fifth Freedom' rights to Singapore Airlines at the airport of Malpensa;

to guarantee any action needed which supports the growth of Malpensa, even if this means favouring the increase of intercontinental flights in order to give new input to trade relations with foreign countries, offering strong prospects for Italian companies".

Article by
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