Of the three major international airline alliances, only two have significant joint-venture marketing agreements for trans-Atlantic service. StarAlliance has a deal with nine of their airlines with Continental trying to add themselves into the program, and SkyTeam has six in their deal. But OneWorld has no similar arrangement. It is actually even worse than that. Its two main carriers, British Airways and American Airlines are actually prohibited from having some benefits for their customers flying on the other carrier on trans-Atlantic routes in an effort to prevent them from operating in a monopolistic fashion since they dominate the market, particularly into London Heathrow.
OneWorld has finally decided to fight back, filing paperwork to establish a joint venture agreement between AA, BA and Iberia. It won’t be quite as pervasive as the other carriers’ but it should be beneficial to them to have operating. Plus, with the Open Skies treaty now in place Heathrow is wide open for competition, though BA will still have the majority of the slots there. I can’t imagine that the application will be denied, so expect to see the new marketing start to take shape in the near future.
I think that this is good for folks who fly OneWorld, and has no material effect on others. Overall a good thing for the industry.
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