EU slams oneworld trans-Atlantic cooperation
05 / 10 / 2009
EUROPEAN regulators have damned the oneworld alliance between British Airways (BA), American Airlines (AA) and Iberia, ruling it as being anti-competitive.
The European Commission said that it has sent a formal charge sheet to the three airlines saying that their mutual collusion on trans-Atlantic flights breaks rules that prohibit companies making deals that prevent rivals from competing. The Commission said that it was also investigating plans to align schedules, prices and capacity on flights from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Norway and Switzerland as well as the U.S. and EU.
BA said that the ruling was not a surprise but that it will enjoy defending itself. It went on to say that its cooperation with the two other airlines was simply a way “to compete on a level playing field with Star and SkyTeam” which it claims have antitrust immunity for trans-Atlantic air travel.
“Those alliances carry more traffic out of the UK regions to the US than oneworld does. We merely want the same legal status to enable us to strengthen real competition.”
The EU is also investigating the Star Alliance and SkyTeam.