22-Dec-2009 11:19 AM

US DoJ recommends American Airlines/British Airways tie-up would harm competition

US Department of Justice (DoJ) stated the proposal for immunity extension between American Airlines and British Airways, as well as other members of the oneworld alliance, would harm competition on six trans-Atlantic routes servicing 2.5 million passengers p/a, including New York-London, Boston-London and Chicago-London (Bloomberg/Dow Jones, 21-Dec-2009). The DoJ recommended that the carriers surrender some takeoff and landing slots at congested airports or make concessions on highly concentrated routes, if they are to gain US antitrust immunity.

American Airlines stated that it disagrees with the DoJ conclusions and expects that the US Department of Transportation will approve its pricing and route alliance with British Airways in a “timely manner.” Also included in the anti-trust immunity proposal are Iberia, Finnair and Royal Jordanian.

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