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Business Travelers Seeking More Travel Choices Call on U.S. DOT to Approve oneworld Airlines' Antitrust Immunity Application

Business Travel Coalition and American Small Business Travelers Alliance Also Voice Support for Third Immunized Alliance to Compete With Star and SkyTeam Airline Alliances

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Joining a growing list of supporters, more than 485 corporations, small businesses and other for-profit organizations have sent letters asking the federal government to level the playing field by granting global antitrust immunity to five oneworld® airlines because they say businesses, consumers and communities all will benefit.

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and Royal Jordanian today filed 564 individual letters of support from 485 for-profit organizations with the U.S. Department of Transportation - further demonstrating demand for a third immunized alliance that will provide benefits to businesses and the traveling public.

These corporations and small businesses in more than 33 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Spain join more than 600 travel industry organizations whose letters of support were filed on Monday, May 11, 2009. In addition, the airlines filed more than 300 letters of support from other organizations such as non-profits and chambers of commerce on May 7, 2009.

Several business travel industry organizations also filed in support of the application today including Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and the American Small Business Travelers Alliance (ASBTA) stating the fact that antitrust immunity will allow the oneworld applicants with trans-Atlantic service to compete more effectively with the SkyTeam and Star alliances and enable oneworld members to better coordinate service, schedules and fares on international routes and deliver more attractive options for business travelers.

"An immunized oneworld will bring pricing discipline to some 31,000 city-pairs between the U.S. and Europe where the combined Star and SkyTeam dominate with 80 percent or more booking market share," said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of Business Travel Coalition. Founded in 1994, BTC has been advocating customer interests in North America and Europe, particularly in the areas of airline competition and aviation system access for businesses and mid-size communities to important global business centers.

"ASBTA believes having a third immunized alliance will have a positive impact on air travel by offering travelers, such as small businesses, more service, scheduling and pricing options and will help to ensure that small business travelers, as well as consumers in general, have the benefit of three competitive air alliances," said Chuck Sharp, president of ASBTA, a national organization dedicated to serving and educating small business travelers by providing information regarding travel and mobile technology.

Antitrust immunity will deliver more convenient, improved travel options for customers and enhance 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 the Star and SkyTeam 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 will 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.

For more information about the airlines' application of antitrust immunity and a list of supporters filed with the DOT, visit www.moretravelchoices.com. Visit AA's YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/americanairlines for video information about this and other initiatives at American Airlines.

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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