European Commission Investigates Airlines


The BBC is reporting that the European Commission has started anti-competition investigations into seven transatlantic airlines, including British Airways (BA).

Brussels has opened two separate investigations. The first focuses on proposed additional cooperation between BA, American Airlines and Iberia. The second probe is into existing and planned cooperation between Air Canada, Continental, Lufthansa and United.

BA said the Commission had stressed it did not have proof of any infringement; however, Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said the investigations would not have been launched "unless we thought there was good reason to pursue this."

The investigations are into transatlantic routes between Europe and North America run by One World alliance members BA, American and Iberia, and Star Alliance carriers Air Canada, Lufthansa and United. Continental is not yet a member of the Star Alliance but in talks to join the group.