13-Nov-2009 9:03 AM

Virgin Atlantic alleges American Airlines "hypocrisy" over proposed JAL JV

Virgin Atlantic urged (12-Nov-2009) US Department of Transportation (DOT) in a regulatory filing to examine American Airlines' "hypocrisy" on market dominance. According to Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and Japan Airlines together would have lower market shares between the US and Tokyo Narita than British Airways and American Airlines would have between the US and London Heathrow, following comments by American Airlines' CEO, Gerard Arpey that Delta's "extensive presence" at Tokyo Narita Airport would make it difficult for Delta to obtain antitrust immunity from the DOT for the carrier's planned joint venture with JAL and that it plans to object to the proposed collaboration. [more]

Virgin Atlantic: "Virgin Atlantic absolutely agrees with American Airlines that a high level of market concentration should be an insurmountable hurdle to obtain antitrust immunity for a possible alliance such as BA/AA. Mr Arpey has clearly highlighted why dominant groups like AA and BA shouldn't be given regulatory clearance. We have asked the DoT to further investigate his views as American cannot have it both ways," Steve Ridgway, CEO. Source: Virgin Atlantic, 12-Nov-2009.

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