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American Airlines Sets the Record Straight on Virgin Atlantic's Frivolous and Misguided Claims

American Airlines today issued the following statement in response to a Virgin Atlantic filing made today with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Once again, Virgin's comments are long on accusations and rhetoric and short on the facts. American is opposed to a Delta-Japan Airlines (JAL) tie-up for the same reason we are confident our transatlantic immunity application will be approved: to preserve and enhance competition.

SkyTeam with a Delta-JAL combination would account for nearly 60 percent of U.S.-Tokyo passengers, as opposed to oneworld's approximate 44 percent share of U.S.-London passengers. AA and British Airways only account for about 40 percent of U.S.-U.K. traffic, whereas Delta-JAL would consolidate the positions of the two largest U.S.-Japan carriers with more than 60 percent share of U.S.-Japan passengers, leaving oneworld with just a 6 percent share.

In addition, significant competition will remain after AA and BA receive immunity, as 78 percent of travelers on city pairs where AA and BA both provide nonstop service would continue to have three or more competitive options. Just 27 percent of passengers on city pairs where Delta and JAL overlap would continue to have three or more competitors for transpacific service.

The bottom line is we're aiming to level the playing field for alliance competition in the transatlantic market and to prevent an unlevel field for alliance competition from evolving in the transpacific.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

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SOURCE: American Airlines

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