US Airways objects to TAM's request for US cargo flights

Washington DC
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US Airways has filed an objection against Brazilian carrier TAM's application to operate codeshare cargo flights to the US with the US Department of Transportation (DOT), citing its inability to serve Sao Paulo-Guarulhos airport.

TAM had filed an application requesting to operate cargo codeshare flights for Aerolinhas Brasileiras (ABSA) on eight US-Brazil routes, including three from Guarulhos, on 1 June.

US Airways says that even though it holds seven of 105 frequencies for Guarulhos, it remains unable to launch flights to the airport, in its objection that was filed on 12 June.

The Tempe, Arizona-based carrier was informed by state-owned airport operator Infraero, the former operator of Guarulhos, that it would not honour an earlier agreement with the airline which would allow the carrier to begin service in late 2012 at an April 2012 meeting. Guarulhos airport is now operated by a private consortium under 20-year concession contract.

US Airways is still working to establish a new timeline to begin the service, it says in its objection. It adds that granting rights to TAM for the codeshare cargo flights "would further the competitive imbalance between carriers with and without access" to Guarulhos.

In response to US Airways' objection, TAM says that while it is "sympathetic" to US Airways' situation, there is no basis for the DOT to deny its application based on the objection. "Not only would it be unfair to refuse to grant TAM's application based on the actions of an airport operator over which TAM has no control, but it would be inconsistent with the applicable bilateral agreements to do so," says TAM.