EU merger review focuses US Airways' Heathrow slot to Philadelphia

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American Airlines and US Airways have offered EU regulators slots used for the latter's flights between London Heathrow and Philadelphia to gain approval for their proposed merger.

The carriers say that the route is the only city pair that raised competitive concerns for the EU Commission, in a joint statement today.

"US Airways and American Airlines have provided commitments to the Commission that address those concerns, and we believe we are on track to receive clearance in Europe," they say.

A hearing is scheduled for 6 August.

If the EU Commission accepts the airlines concession, a new entrant could enter the market using the current slots or a pair with better timing on the route from American and US Airways' combined slot portfolio at Heathrow. The merged carrier could continue to serve the market with another slot in from their portfolio.

British Airways serves the London-Philadelphia route twice daily and US Airways once daily, Innovata schedules show.