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Oneworld Airlines

Over 300 nonprofit, economic organizations voice support for airlines' antitrust immunity application

eTN Staff Writer  May 08, 2009

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair, and Royal Jordanian today filed letters of support with the US Department of Transportation from 216 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions - as well as 107 chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and visitors bureaus in more than 34 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay - demonstrating the benefits global antitrust immunity will provide to consumers and communities in the United States and beyond.

Support for the oneworld airlines' bid comes from a broad array of diverse organizations and institutions. Among the nonprofit organizations filing in support: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Washington, DC; RainbowPUSH Coalition, Chicago; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, St. Louis; Sacramento Ballet; Meals on Wheels, San Francisco; Lincoln Center Theater, New York; The Jimmy Fund, Boston; Elton John AIDS Foundation, New York; Miami Hispanic Ballet; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; and Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.

Chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and visitors bureaus, representing thousands of individual businesses, communities, destinations, and regions, also voiced support for the airlines' bid to level the playing field with the Star and SkyTeam alliances. Among those organizations sending letters of support: Greater Boston Chamber; Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau; Peoria Area Chamber; Business Roundtable, Washington, DC; US Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Tourism Company; Roswell Chamber of Commerce; Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Missouri Department of Economic Development; New York Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Dallas Regional Chamber; and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Antitrust immunity will allow the participating airlines to work together on international routes by coordinating their service, schedules, connections, and fares to deliver more convenient and improved travel options for customers. This will mean enhanced and improved service on oneworld's network of 8,951 daily departures to 663 destinations in 134 countries and allow oneworld, of which American, British Airways, and Iberia are key members, to compete more effectively with other global airline alliances that already enjoy antitrust immunity.

Immunized alliances create new online connections and frequencies by combining existing networks. They also provide incentives for participating airlines to begin serving new nonstop routes or to sustain others that might have been unviable for an individual airline. The combined route networks of American, British Airways, and Iberia would offer seamless service to approximately 423 destinations, in 106 countries, with 5,250 daily departures worldwide.

The tighter relationships enabled by immunity provide the airlines greater incentive to price more efficiently, such as through combinable fares, resulting in greater expected availability of lower fares and more travel choices across coordinated route networks. Other benefits include expanded opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and elite tier benefits on flights worldwide, as well as continued reciprocal airport lounge access. Corporate customers will benefit from the closer cooperation through additional destinations and with more frequencies under a single integrated contract and reinvigorated competition as the oneworld alliance will finally be allowed to compete on equal footing with other global air alliances that have longstanding immunity.

Over 300 nonprofit, economic organizations voice support for airlines' antitrust immunity application
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