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Delta Air Lines asks DoT to reject Etihad/Air Serbia codeshare application

8-Oct-2013 9:10 AM

Delta Air Lines issued (04-Oct-2013) a response to the US Department of Transportation regarding Jat Airways' [Air Serbia] application for the authority to operate services from Serbia to the US on a codeshare-only basis, and Etihad Airways' application for the authority to place Jat Airways' code on its services from Abu Dhabi to the US. Delta stated: "JAT and Etihad’s proposed codeshare services are highly circuitous, commercially implausible, and are likely to cause consumer confusion. Moreover, JAT and Etihad have not been candid with the Department in their characterisation of the facts concerning Etihad’s ownership interest in and effective control of JAT. JAT and Etihad bear the burden of addressing these issues in a forthright manner, particularly given that the proposed services would be the product of market-distorting, anti-competitive state subsidies from which both Etihad and JAT benefit. The proposed codeshares are not in the public interest and, accordingly, the Department should deny both JAT’s exemption request and Etihad’s application for a statement of authorization." Delta also alleged that "JAT and Etihad have mischaracterized Etihad’s ownership and effective control of JAT, which are significantly more extensive than suggested", adding the "lack of a US-Serbia aviation bilateral agreement requires JAT to demonstrate clear public benefit", and that the DoT "should discourage the abuse of TSA pre-clearance in Abu Dhabi." [more - original PR]