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Tue, Mar 17, 2009

AAL, British Airways Respond To ROI On Trans-Atlantic Alliance

Five Carriers Share Antitrust Info With DOT On Request

They have nothing to hide... and they want the US Department of Transportation to know it. On Friday, five "oneworld" alliance airlines seeking global antitrust immunity responded to a request for additional information from the DOT, regarding their plans to form a massive trans-Atlantic alliance.

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Royal Jordanian filed their response on March 13 to answer follow-up questions posed by DOT in December. In August, the airlines submitted their application to DOT and also informed the appropriate authorities in the European Union.

Those carriers assert antitrust immunity will allow oneworld to compete more effectively against the SkyTeam and Star alliances, "both of which already enjoy broad antitrust immunity." That will lower prices, the airlines claim, and benefit passengers through more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flier miles on member airlines.

Opponents respond by saying the expanded alliance will slash competition on the lucrative trans-Atlantic routes between the US and Europe, not broaden it. The DOT is expected to issue its ruling on the matter in the second half of this year.

FMI: www.aa.com, www.ba.com, www.dot.gov

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