AA, BA TRY TO STAY ALIGNED
American Airlines and British Airways say they will continue to work
together despite indications that U.S. regulators will deny antitrust
immunity to an alliance of the two carriers.
Without antitrust immunity, AA and BA are not allowed to coordinate
pricing and flight schedules or share profit. The two airlines can still
apply for code-sharing rights on certain routes and share frequent flyer
The U.S. has said that any AA-BA alliance is dependent on the signing of
a new "open skies" bilateral aviation agreement between the U.S. and Great
Britain. In their attempt to close a deal with the U.S., British regulators
have not been able to persuade BA to give up enough landing and takeoff
slots at London’s Heathrow airport.
The U.S. position hurts the development of the oneworld alliance of
airlines, which is anchored by AA and BA and includes Hong Kong’s Cathay
Pacific Airways, Australia’s Qantas, Canadian Airlines and LanChile.
Competing carriers, such as Northwest Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines and United Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines, have been
granted antitrust immunity for alliances.