Delta Air Lines (ticker: DAL, exchange: NYSE Archipelago Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Delta Says OFT Should Not Approve British Airways - American Airlines Alliance Unless Competitors Have Full Access to London Heathrow
LONDON, Nov 8, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL)
today filed comments with the U.K. Office of Fair Trading (OFT) urging that the
proposed British Airways - American Airlines alliance be rejected unless other
airlines are allowed significant new access to London-Heathrow Airport. The OFT
is examining the British Airways - American deal to decide if the agreement is
anti-competitive. The European Commission is also conducting an investigation
and may open a formal procedure under Article 85 of the EC Treaty. In addition,
the arrangement is under review by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Accopresident - Government Affairs. "This alliance proposal is a warmed-over
version of the same British Airways/American partnership that was rejected by
regulators four years ago," said Yohe.
"London-Heathrow Airport is the single most important European gateway for
Europe-U.S. travelers, but Delta and other U.S. carriers have no opportunity to
provide Heathrow-U.S. flights due to slot and facilities barriers," said Yohe.
"In order for the OFT to seriously consider this alliance proposal there would
have to be (1) a significant divestiture of takeoff and landing slots from
British Airways and American to permit other airlines to offer competitive
services, (2) airport gates and terminal facilities at London- Heathrow to
accommodate the new services, and (3) the opportunity for competitors to
initiate their new services to London-Heathrow before implementation of the
alliance. These steps are essential in order to ensure price and service
competition to British Airways and American."
In its filing, Delta said that British Airways and American should release a
minimum of 504 weekly slots to competitors, with 154 of those slots -- the
equivalent of 11 daily roundtrip flights -- allotted to Delta. Yohe explained,
"This divestiture is necessary to allow other carriers to competitively
discipline the massive British Airways and American operation, which would hold
an excess of 3,500 weekly slots. Without such divestitures, British Airways and
American will stifle competitors on most London-U.S. routes," he said.
Delta said that without the proposed conditions, the proposed alliance is
anticompetitive and should be dismissed for the same reasons it was rejected by
regulators four years ago.
Delta's goal is to become the No. 1 airline in the eyes of its customers, flying
passengers and cargo from anywhere to everywhere. People choose to fly Delta
more often than any other airline in the world on 4,850 flights each day to 368
cities in 65 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection
carriers and Delta's Worldwide Partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam,
a global airline alliance that gives customers extensive worldwide destinations,
flights and services. In addition to safely and securely making reservations and
purchasing tickets at delta.com, Delta customers can select seats, upgrade, get
up-to-date flight information, make accommodations reservations, and more.
U.S.-based travel agencies also can access Delta Web fares for their customers
via delta.com's Online Agency Service Center. For more information, go to
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SOURCE Delta Air Lines, Inc.
CONTACT: Corporate Communications of Delta Air Lines, Inc.,
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