15-Jul-2010 11:15 AM

Virgin Atlantic states oneworld agreement anti-competitive

Virgin Atlantic President, Sir Richard Branson, labelled the European Commission’s approval of the business agreement between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia as “anti-competitive”, stating the final decision and remedies package for competition concerns are “woefully inadequate” (Travel Central, 14-Jul-2010).

Virgin Atlantic: "We have fought this monster monopoly for the past 13 years and are still resolute in our belief that this decision is shameful and consumers will suffer greatly as a result of this deal. The European Commission has let consumers down by agreeing to paltry remedies which are wholly inadequate … The many shortcomings include too few slot remedies, no requirement for competitors to take up the remedies which means BA/AA can proceed regardless of whether competition is in place and slots which are only available on a limited-duration lease-hold basis thereby disincentivising new entry. All of these factors combined mean that the remedies are unable to address the competitive harm caused by a combined BA/AA." Sir Richard Branson, President. Source: Travel Central, 14-Jul-2010.