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Delta Gets Anti-Trust Immunity, Prepares to Invade Europe

Delta Gets Anti-Trust Immunity, Prepares to Invade Europe
Joe Cortez

Delta Air Lines’ reach across the Atlantic Ocean could grow, after receiving anti-trust immunity with three other international carriers. The U.S. Department of Transportation granted tentative approval for Delta to operate joint ventures with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.

Delta Air Lines could soon have much more reach to Europe if a tentative agreement with American authorities holds up. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted provisional anti-trust immunity for joint ventures between Delta and three other airlines: Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

The new agreement supersedes two previous agreements made with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic. Under the tentative approval, the four airlines can work closer together to offer more flights, set airfares on flights and share profits among the group for codeshare flights.

Under the terms of the tentative anti-trust immunity, the U.S. DOT reserves the right to oversee the joint venture and ensure that consumers are protected from dramatic increases in airfare, while granting other provisions. Officials for the DOT will receive a yearly report, as well as a five-year review report on the group activities.

In exchange, all four carriers will be allowed to increase the number of seats traveling across the Atlantic Ocean and more cooperation between the three frequent flyer programs affected. Additionally, the group will also receive “new benefits such as more options on European flights.”

While the collective joint venture agreement is new for the three companies, they have been working together for years to manage and maintain trans-Atlantic flights. Moreover, the group also wants to reduce carbon emissions through offsetting. For the Global Business Travel Association’s August 2019 conference in Chicago, the four carriers vowed to offset over 1,800 metric tons of carbon emissions, affecting over 15,000 customer flight segments.

According to the Journal-Constitution, those for or against the anti-trust immunity action will have two weeks to submit comments to the DOT. After reviewing comments, the regulating body will make a final decision.


[Featured Image: Wikimedia/ Tomás Del Coro]

View Comments (3)


  1. edgewood49

    August 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Does one think that the airlines are that concerned about emissions or a “smoke screen” ? I’ll go with smoke screen. Here goes airfares to and from Europe on US metal fortunately I don’t fly US metal internationally and have no intention too especially AA.

  2. glob99

    August 12, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    What is a “dramatic” increase in fares?


    August 20, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Offsetting emissions while at the same time offering more flights… How does that work exactly?

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