Oneworld Files for AntiTrust

Like SkyTeam before it, the Oneworld Alliance on Wednesday filed for antitrust immunity with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The alliance--made up of American, Iberia, Finnair, Malev Hungarian and Royal Jordanian airlines--seeks to allow the five airlines to cooperate in various operational areas, such as codesharing, frequent flyer programs and route and schedule planning. "We believe that an alliance with antitrust immunity is of vital strategic importance and will help us remain competitive with other transatlantic alliances that already have such immunity," said American's senior vice president of planning, Henry Joyner. Under the Open Skies agreement between the United States and the European Union, regulatory hurdles alliances currently face in such instances are expected to ease. Earlier this month, six SkyTeam carriers--Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines--also filed for antitrust immunity with the DOT, a move it also made in 2005, but eventually withdrew.

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