American Airlines and British Airways announce new alliance and file for antitrust immunity

by Canadian Shipper

British Airways and American Airlines have made plans for a new alliance that would boost competition, deliver significant benefits for international air travellers, and move toward a level playing field with other global airline alliances.
Key consumer benefits would include access to more destinations and more convenient schedules, extending lower fares to a wider range of destinations, greater ease of transfer, a more attractive frequent flier program, greater ticket interchangeability and new improved check-in and luggage facilities.

Although there will be no immediate effect on British Airways employees, the deal is likely to lead to co-location of operations at some airports. Employees and Trade Unions as appropriate will be consulted throughout this process. There are no plans to merge the two workforces.

The companies will file applications for antitrust immunity in the United States and clearance for their proposals in the United Kingdom and with the European Commission over the coming days. Both airlines will work with regulatory authorities to gain the necessary approvals and help create a positive climate for “open skies” between the United States and United Kingdom, giving passengers a far greater choice of carriers. In line with the competing airline alliances, the new relationship would include a widescale codesharing agreement.

The new alliance includes a profit sharing arrangement covering nine transatlantic routes between London and Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis and San Francisco. Antitrust immunity and codesharing would allow American Airlines and British Airways and the larger oneworld alliance to compete more effectively with rival alliance networks.

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