US government deems Oneworld anti-trust application complete

Washington DC
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Officials at the US Department of Transportation today said the Oneworld alliance carriers seeking anti-trust immunity have satisfied the department's request for additional information despite protests from Virgin Atlantic.

In August 2008 American, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Royal Jordanian filed an application with DOT for anti-trust immunity on flights between North America and Europe.

DOT in March of this year requested more information from the carriers regarding their application.

After the carriers complied Virgin Atlantic argued to DOT that the Oneworld airlines failed to produce numerous documents relevant to the case.

While the Oneworld members contended that most of the documents are duplicative or irrelevant, they agreed to produce some information requested by Virgin Atlantic to move the case forward, says DOT.

The Oneworld carriers did decline to submit annexes to a British Airways response to a Competition Commission questionnaire, arguing that submission contains confidential information not necessary for the DOT's request for additional information.

DOT's procedure allows for a 21-day public comment period on the application. Formal replies to those comments are required seven days after the initial comment period deadline.