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E.U. concerned over airline venture

Stephen Beard Oct 2, 2009
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E.U. concerned over airline venture

Stephen Beard Oct 2, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: American Airlines has been planning on a joint transatlantic venture with British Airways and Iberia. But regulators in Europe have now come up with a list of objections to the idea.
Marketplace European Correspondent Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: The three airlines want to run a joint operation between Europe and North America. They would like to cut costs, by coordinating flights and fares.

The European Commission’s been looking at the plan, and has just raised some concerns. Among them : the grip this alliance would have on some key transatlantic routes. BA and American would between them control 70 percent of flights between London Heathrow and Miami International Airport.

Howard Wheeldon is an aviation analyst with the BGC group. He thinks the tie-up faces insurmountable opposition from rival carriers like Virgin.

Howard Wheeldon: The pressures from the likes of Virgin and the others, they will put on the both European and American regulators to stop it happening I think are far greater than we’ve probably ever seen before.

BA, American and Iberia are planning to respond to the E.U.’s concerns by the end of the month.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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