BA chief: Regulators risk "untouchable duopoly" on trans-Atlantic routes

10/15/2009 | Bloomberg · Wall Street Journal, The

British Airways CEO Willie Walsh is cautioning that trans-Atlantic air travel could be controlled by an "untouchable duopoly" if his company is blocked by regulators from greater cooperation with American Airlines. Walsh said antitrust immunity is needed to level the playing field with Star and Skyteam, the two global alliances already approved for extensive cooperation. Walsh also said the tie-up should happen with no sacrifice by either carrier of coveted landing slots at London Heathrow. U.S. regulators considering a similar request in 2002 had demanded the airlines give up 224 weekly slots to win approval, but today's market is a "very different competitive landscape," Walsh said.

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Bloomberg · Wall Street Journal, The

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