The European Commission's (EC) campaign to agree a "transatlantic common aviation market" with the USA has won early airline backing, with American Airlines and British Airways stating that their future is dependent on it.

The endorsement follows the European Court of Justice's ruling that member states contravene EU competition law by concluding exclusive bilateral treaties with the USA (Flight International, 5-11 February). Instead, the EC wants a multilateral negotiating approach.

In a 13 February letter formally withdrawing their application to the US Department of Transportation for anti-trust immunity, American and BA state they believe their best hope for a level playing field lies with meeting the EC's objective. This, they say, should mean that "all issues should be on the table, from operating freedoms to ownership and control".

Source: Flight International