American and JAL officially file for anti-trust

Washington DC
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American Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL) have submitted an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking anti-trust immunity to form a transpacific joint venture.

The carriers swiftly filed for anti-trust after JAL on 9 February decided to remain in the Oneworld alliance rather than joining SkyTeam. Both American and SkyTeam anchor Delta aggressively pursued an alliance with JAL, which sought bankruptcy protection last month.

A contingency of the open skies agreement reached between Japan and the USA in December 2009 was that JAL and All Nippon Airways (ANA) would have the ability to forge joint ventures with their respective US partners.

Previously an official with the US government has said that depending on DOT's speed in processing anti-trust applications, the open skies agreement could be finalised between October and August.

Star Alliance members ANA, Continental and United applied for anti-trust immunity on 23 December 2009.