American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia alliance wins Antitrust Immunity

Posted: July 19th, 2010

According to the Dallas News, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia have received a favorable decision by the European Commission for antitrust immunity. This approval will allow the three carriers, all members of OneWorld, to enjoy the same legal status as other trans-Atlantic alliances to coordinate schedules, fares and marketing on their services across the North Atlantic. With the European decision in hand, the carriers now need to get a final blessing from the U.S. Department of Transportation to proceed. DOT gave preliminary approval on Feb. 13, but has not yet issued a final order. The EC required certain concessions on behalf of the trio, including: the surrender of enough slots to allow rivals to operate two daily flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to New York Kennedy, two to Boston, one to Dallas/Fort Worth and one to Miami; letting passengers on those competing flights earn miles in the applicants’ frequent-flier programs; and allowing competitors to feed passengers to and from their own flights and prorating the revenues from airfares.