DOT Joins the European Union in Endorsing Joint Business
American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia today received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a joint business governing flights between North America and Europe and will expand their global cooperation as a result of receiving antitrust immunity. Fellow oneworld® members Finnair and Royal Jordanian also received antitrust immunity from DOT. The European Union approved the joint business on July 14.
"This is an important day for the customers, employees and shareholders of American Airlines and our joint business partners in the oneworld alliance," said Gerard Arpey, Chairman and CEO of AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines. "We are pleased that U.S. and EU regulators have approved our long-sought-after alliance proposal. We wish to thank all those who supported us in this effort, and we look forward to delivering enhanced competition for customers on trans-Atlantic flights. By working collaboratively with our oneworld partners, we will enhance our product offerings, strengthen our route networks, and better position our airlines to compete in the ever-changing global aviation marketplace."
Under the joint business agreement, the three airlines will cooperate commercially on flights between the United States, Mexico and Canada, and the European Union, Switzerland and Norway while continuing to operate as separate legal entities. They will expand their codeshare arrangements on flights within and beyond the U.S. and European Union, significantly increasing the number of destinations that the airlines can offer customers.
The final DOT and EU decisions are a significant step toward strengthening customer choice because they will better position oneworld to compete in the global marketplace with other alliances that have already received trans-Atlantic antitrust immunity. Customers can travel more easily on the three airlines’ combined route network that will serve 433 destinations in 105 countries with 5,178 daily departures, providing more frequent and convenient schedule options than any of the three carriers could offer individually.
By working together, the airlines will expand customer choice by supporting routes that would not be economically viable for a single airline. Customers also will receive numerous benefits, including expanded opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and elite tier benefits and continued reciprocal airport lounge access.
Source = American Airlines