Delta says BA-AA must lose 50 flights
Thursday 04 September 1997
This is double the number of slots that competition authorities in Washington and Brussels have said should be relinquished and four times the number that the Office of Fair Trading says BA and American should be required to give up.
The tough line being taken by Delta, the biggest airline in the world based on passengers carried, is designed to put extra pressure on regulatory authorities on both sides of the Atlantic as the deadline looms for a final decision on the long-delayed alliance.
The OFT recommended that BA and American relinquish 168 take off and landing slots at Heathrow a week as the condition for allowing the alliance to proceed. The European Competition Commissioner, Karel Van Miert and the US General Office of Accounting, which reports to Congress, both recommended that 350 slots be surrendered.
But Delta said yesterday that between 700 and 800 slots should be given up and redistributed to rival carriers if real competition were to be preserved following the launch of the alliance.
Approval for the BA-American tie up will pave the way for an open skies agreement between London and Washington, liberalising air services across the Atlantic by permitting any US carrier into Heathrow.
Stephan Egli, Delta's newly appointed vice-president for the Atlantic and Pacific, said that releasing 168 slots would only allow proper competition to take place on one route - Heathrow to New York's JFK airport - where the combination of BA and American would otherwise dominate with 13 non- stop flight a day.
Mr Egli said that if there were to be real competition on the four, or give other routes where BA and American would have a stranglehold, then as many as 800 slots would need to be freed up: "We recognise that is a tremendous number of slots but it needs to be done if we are not to allow a monopoly."
The alternative, he added, would be higher price and less choice because other carriers would simply drop out of the routes as they would not be able to compete on equal terms.
A BA spokesman said of Delta's demand: "There are some absurd suggestions out there but this one takes the biscuit. All our competitors have rallied against the alliance because they have their own agendas to pursue."
The BA team working on the alliance planning meets today to take stock of the situation and continue preparing the airline's formal response to Mr Van Miert. Bob Ayling has set an effective deadline of November for approval for the alliance otherwise the two carriers will not be able to plan their summer schedule properly. The bi-annual slot scheduling conference, attended by all the world's airlines, takes place in Brisbane, Australia, between 13-20 November to allocate slots for all airports for next summer.
Even if approval is finally granted it will have taken BA and American two years from the date of their original announcement to get the alliance airborne.
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...