Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin file with US DoT for merged JV agreement, excludes Alitalia

23 July, 2018

Air France-KLMDelta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic applied (20-Jul-2018) to the US DoT for approval of extended antitrust immunity, following a restated JV agreement. When implemented, the amended agreement will replace the two pre existing JV agreements among the parties, which currently operate in parallel as approved by the 2013 order. "The enhanced cooperation will create substantial additional consumer benefits, without any harm to competition", the airlines stated. The airlines also believe fully reciprocal codesharing, made possible by the metal neutrality of the amended JV agreement, will enable the parties to offer consumers better hub connectivity on both sides of the Atlantic. "This will allow new service routings, further optimisation of their combined networks with better connections, and more convenient travel options for consumers, including over 11,000 new online routes", they said. Although Alitalia was previously part of a JV with the companies, the filing reads: "Although the Parties hope to implement metal-neutral cooperation with Alitalia in the future, Alitalia is currently undergoing restructuring through the Italian bankruptcy process, and its future ownership structure is uncertain". [more - original PR]