28 U.S. Senators, 133 U.S. Representatives, 43 Governors and Lt. Governors, 110 Mayors, 129 Airports, and 32 Other State and Local Officials Call for U.S. DOT to Approve Airlines' Application for Antitrust Immunity
FORT WORTH, Texas, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nearly 500 elected and public officials from across the United States have sent letters asking the Federal government to level the playing field by granting global antitrust immunity to five oneworld® airlines. These officials state that businesses, consumers and communities they represent all will benefit from the proposed arrangement among American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and Royal Jordanian.
The five airlines today announced that they have filed letters of support from elected and public officials from 47 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), which is expected to issue its decision by Oct. 31, 2009. In addition to the application to the U.S. DOT, American, British Airways and Iberia continue to work with the European Union through its regulatory process and remain hopeful that they will be in a position to proceed with implementation by the end of this year.
Federal-level support includes 28 U.S. Senators and 133 U.S. Representatives. At the state and local level, 43 Governors and Lieutenant Governors, representing more than 83 percent of the U.S. population, and 110 Mayors who represent an aggregate population of more than 37 million, have written in support of the airlines' effort to gain approval to work more closely together and compete more effectively with other alliances that already have received immunity.
Federal Elected Officials Weigh In With Support
"Approval of American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia's pending application will give consumers more travel options, increase competition for international travel and create jobs in Illinois," said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "I stand with airports and businesses across Illinois in supporting this alliance and the economic activity it stands to create."
"Putting oneworld on an equal footing with other airline alliances is vital and will be a positive for Fort Worth. More competition among airline alliances will bring more travel choices with a combined route network and provide more seamless service among American, British Airways and Iberia," said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas. "It will also provide travelers with more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles on flights worldwide."
Airports See Benefits and Show Support
The application is also supported by 129 U.S. airports representing more than half of all departures from airports within the 50 states, as well as the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and the Manchester Airport Group in the United Kingdom.
With the 499 letters from elected and public officials and airports announced today, the alliance has received a grand total of 3,382 letters for support from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Previously filed were 2,883 letters from 521 corporations and small businesses, 615 travel industry organizations, and 356 other groups such as non-profits and chambers of commerce.
This broad-based support demonstrates that 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. As a result, oneworld, of which American, British Airways and Iberia are key members, will compete more effectively with the Star and SkyTeam global airline alliances that already enjoy antitrust immunity.
For more information about the airlines' application for antitrust immunity and a complete list of support letters 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