Thursday, 29 July 2010

It is Joint Venture Time for British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia.

Almost every competitor who wanted the stop them have tried and failed. The Europe and the U.S governments couldn't either. After 14 years in the making, British Airways and American Airlines have finally been given the long-sought anti-trust immunity that will permit the carriers to coordinate schedules, fares and marketing.
British Airways and American Airlines argue that it is all about staying competitive with airlines in other alliances that already enjoy the privileges of joint ventures. Routes between the U.S. and London's Heathrow, the two airlines' biggest strengths had become the largest source of contention among other airlines and regulators. Before receiving approval to move forward from EU regulators, the two airlines had promised to relinquish a few pairs of slots (take-off and landing rights) between the U.S. and Heathrow. This concession was received positively by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as it issued its final approval of the joint venture this week. The granting of anti-trust immunity also covers Iberia, Finnair and Royal Jordanian, all members of the oneworld® Alliance.

In a press release, British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh stated: "We're pleased that the DOT and EU have worked together to ensure that there is consistency in the number of slots that the three airlines have to give up to our competitors to use on services from Heathrow to the U.S. We made the pragmatic decision to give up these slot pairs so that we can start operating the joint business as soon as possible." Iberia's Chairman Antonio Vazquez added: "A new kind of collaboration among our three airlines will lead to better service levels for our customers. This means that our customers will have more destinations to choose from around the world, better scheduled travel times, better connections, and more competitive fares."
Do you agree?

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