Air France confident US government will grant SkyTeam antitrust


PARIS (XFNews) - French national carrier Air France said that it is confident the US government would ultimately approve antitrust immunity for the SkyTeam global alliance of six airlines despite opposition from the US Department of Justice.

An Air France spokeswoman noted that the DoJ report released Friday on the immunity request from SkyTeam, which also includes the Dutch carrier KLM, Czech Airlines, Alitalia and two US airlines Delta and Northwest, was only a recommendation to the US Department of Transportation, which is considering the proposal.

The DoJ's report said that immunity for the six-carrier alliance would lead to a risk of "significant harm to certain international and domestic competition."

The immunity request is designed to foster "new possibilities of cooperation in the United States and the Justice department has just given its analysis. The advice is only consultative," the French airline's spokeswoman said.

The French carrier was "confident of a favorable outcome to the request for anti-trust immunity at the DOT," she said.

The SkyTeam alliance has argued that immunity would help the six airlines provide more seamless travel arrangements and reduce costs.

A rejection of the immunity request in the US would not change how SkyTeam operates, but would prevent further coordination among the carriers.

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