18 MAY 2020
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The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published its provisional findings ‘UK to US’ part of the transatlantic joint venture operated by British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia, Finnair and (soon) Aer Lingus. It is probably the most pointless of exercises given the current situation.
With the future unknown any likelihood of it being implemented is doubtful.
At present, Norwegian will not operate any services from Gatwick to the US until at least April 2021, whilst the future of Virgin Atlantic is uncertain although it has published it 2021 flying programme (See Virgin plans ahead in this issue).
This has caused problems for the CMA, which has spent 18 months working on a set of competition assumptions which may no longer be valid.
“The CMA’s view is that the AJBA (Atlantic Joint Business Agreement – that is between the airlines) gives rise to competition concerns in respect of the Routes of Concern and that the Parties have failed to demonstrate that the consumer benefits identified are such as to outweigh these.”
And “the CMA has significant doubts about the robustness of the Commitments Parties’ econometric evidence”. They are saying that the airlines are telling fibs.
The routes concerned are:
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