And just in case the airlines don't have enough to worry about, a long-simmering dispute between France and the U.S. is about to boil over. At issue: the number of seats U.S. airlines can offer travelers to and from France. Quietly, France has threatened to scrap its bilateral air treaty with the U.S. unless it is revised. To maintain their share of the booming transatlantic market, the French want to limit U.S. airlines' capacity to France to 150% of state-controlled Air France's. Further, Paris says Air France should be allowed to fly the same U.S.-France routes that U.S. carriers fly, rather than be restricted to just a few destinations.
If the U.S. doesn't respond by May 4, the French say, they may take the first step required to terminate the treaty. U.S. officials aren't saying how they'll respond.