Air France-KLM, Delta Airlines, and Alitalia JV receives EU antitrust approval

The joint venture between the three airlines Air France-KLM, Delta Airlines and Alitalia has its origins in the open skies agreement between the EU and USA signed on the 22nd March 2007. Six months later Air France and Delta Airlines formed a JV for close cooperation on all transatlantic hub-to-hub routes, including flights both to and from London Heathrow. Come May 2009 and the now Air France-KLM announced a new JV partnership whereby flights were to be coordinated and revenue shared on the transatlantic network. Finally, in July 2010 Alitalia was invited to join the Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines JV to enable the new airline combination to share revenue, coordinate flights and offer a wider range of flight options with a greater frequency of transatlantic flights.
However the European Commission were concerned about potential harm to passengers, predominantly on routes from New York to Amsterdam and Rome, but also premium passengers on the Paris to New York route. After a three year investigation the JV between Air France-KLM, Delta Airlines and Alitalia has now received EU antitrust approval subject to the commissioning of several concessions for competitors. This involves relinquishing a number of slots at Amsterdam, Rome and New York airports for the same transatlantic routes covered by the JV, and competitors will be allowed to offer tickets on the JV flights on these routes as well. The concessions that the JV have agreed to will be valid for a period of ten years and will enable competitors to link to connecting traffic as well.
The airline industry is continuing to look to worldwide alliances including Star Alliance, oneworld and SkyTeam to continue to set up revenue-sharing ventures in specifically identified markets while also getting round foreign ownership restrictions which exist in a good number of countries.

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