FEDEX HAS DELAYED by 30 days the scheduled 3 July opening of its Subic Bay, Philippines, hub because of a bilateral-air-services dispute between the USA and Japan

After a hiatus in talks between the two nations over Japan's refusal to let FedEx carry cargo between Subic Bay and Japan, the US Clinton Administration proposed retaliatory sanctions on Japanese air-cargo carriers.

The sanctions would prohibit Japan Airlines (JAL) and Nippon Cargo Airlines from carrying cargoes from certain Asian markets on their scheduled all-cargo services from Japan to the USA.

The US Department of Transportation says that the markets will be identified later, and could include Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

The USA says that the existing restrictive aviation pact allows for new cargo routes, starting on 1 May. Japan will not approve flights by FedEx between Japan and Subic Bay, as well as from other Asian points. It says that the new service would be unfair to Japanese carriers, and wants the treaty renegotiated.

FedEx and United Airlines were embroiled in similar disputes with Japan in 1993. The matter was resolved before sanctions threatened against JAL were implemented.

The USA has asked interested parties to show cause by the middle of July why the penalties should not be imposed on the Japanese cargo carriers.

Source: Flight International