The EC is investigating two airline alliances: Star Alliance (Lufthansa, United, Continental, Air Canada) and Oneworld (British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia). The investigations focus on the cooperation between airlines on transatlantic routes. The EC is concerned by the parties’ plans to jointly manage sales, schedules, capacity and pricing, and to share revenues on these routes. British Airways and American Airlines had previously abandoned alliance plans in 1997 and 2001 after regulators required them to divest a large number of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, in order to limit the parties’ combined market power. The parties argue that this time divestments should not be required, given, in particular, the “open skies” agreement that has liberalised transatlantic flights.
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EC investigates airline alliances
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