British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia look to be a step closer to achieving a tie-up on transatlantic
The three oneworld carriers want to share costs and profits and to sell each other’s tickets on routes to North America from Europe. However, they must first convince regulators in Brussels and Washington that they will not
The three airlines have sent proposals to the European Union that they believe address potential competition issues on seven routes. These are likely to include at least four routes from Heathrow - New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Miami, all of which are served by BA and American Airlines.
Regulators will also examine routes run by Iberia and American Airlines between Spain and the US.
American Airlines is due to launch a New York-Madrid route in May and already serves the Spanish capital from Dallas and Miami.
Iberia flies from Madrid to New York and Miami among its US routes.A European Union spokeswoman said competitor airlines were being consulted on concessions submitted by the oneworld carriers.
“This proposal requires further investigation before the Commission reaches any conclusion as to the next steps,” the spokesman said. She would give no deadline or confirm which routes were under scrutiny.
The issue is further complicated by BA’s merger with Iberia, which is due to be completed in the first quarter of this year. A BA spokesman declined to give a date for completion of the deal or any deadline imposed by the EU.