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U.S. Department of Transportation

DOT proposes Broad Codesharing Authority to Skyteam Alliance Members

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed to grant broad codesharing authority to…

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed to grant broad codesharing authority to six members of the SkyTeam international aviation alliance, including Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, as well as Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and Czech Airlines. As part of the same order, the Department tentatively turned down a

request by those same airlines for antitrust immunity for the arrangement.



This proposed decision means the carriers would be able to place their codes and sell tickets on the flights of the other carriers. While DOT is not proposing to grant immunity, codesharing would allow the carriers to achieve most of the benefits they are seeking, such as being able to provide new and more convenient service, the Department

said.



The Department has tentatively concluded that the carriers failed to demonstrate sufficient public benefits that would result from a grant of antitrust immunity to the new alliance, which consists of members of two smaller, existing alliances.



The Department issued its proposed decision after seeking public comment on the application. The Department of Justice opposed the grant of antitrust immunity on the grounds that the applicants had failed to show that the expanded antitrust immunity would provide significant public benefits, or that the suggested benefits could not be achieved without antitrust immunity.



The Department emphasized that it was not proposing to make any changes to the existing approvals and immunities obtained by Northwest/KLM in 1992 and, separately, Delta/Air France/Alitalia/Czech Airlines/Korean Air Lines in 2002.

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