The oneworld alliance has welcomed the granting of antitrust immunity by the US Department of Transport for a joint business agreement on transatlantic services between Iberia, British Airways and American Airlines.
“This final approval is fantastic news for all three airlines and the oneworld alliance,” said BA CEO Willie Walsh. “We’ve waited 14 years to bring the benefits of the transatlantic joint business to our customers and level the playing field with the other two global alliances. As we have argued all along, the EU-US market is highly competitive and Heathrow’s liberalisation in 2008 opened it up even further.”
The US approval comes one week after a similar approval was granted by EU competition authorities, and will allow BA and AA to operate joint services across the Atlantic. It is expected to have significant benefits primarily for the two carriers, while other oneworld carriers operating across the Atlantic such as Royal Jordanian and Finnair are also expected to benefit from greater cooperation.