The three airlines’ offer would make arrival and departure windows available at both ends of the Amsterdam-New York and Rome-New York routes to facilitate the market entry of competitors, the European Commission said today in a statement. The EU will review industry reaction to the proposed deal before deciding whether to accept the proposals.
“The commission has concerns that the extensive cooperation between Air France/KLM, Alitalia and Delta in the framework of the Skyteam alliance, involving profit-sharing and the joint management of schedules, pricing and capacity, may result in higher prices” on these routes, the EU said in a statement.
Carriers are increasingly seeking accords on scheduling and sales to cut costs and boost revenue. Last year Deutsche Lufthansa AG and United Continental Holdings Inc. reached a settlement with EU regulators, ceding slots between Frankfurt and New York in exchange for approval of their trans-Atlantic venture also involving Air Canada.
The commission has invited comments on SkyTeam’s offer. If this feedback confirms that the proposed commitments remedy the EU’s competition concerns, the regulator may make them legally binding.
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