Officials from the US Department of Transportation have proposed to grant anti-trust immunity for Oneworld and Star carriers covering services between the USA and Japan.

The approval is subject to an open skies agreement between the two countries concluded in late 2009 being signed. A contingency of the agreement was Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) being granted anti-trust with their alliance partners. The deal also allotted four slots to Tokyo Haneda for service by US carriers. American, Delta and Hawaiian were awarded the slots. Delta recently sought approval to push out its Haneda launch date from the end of January to March.

Star partners ANA, Continental and United were the first to file for anti-trust followed by JAL and American once JAL opted to remain with the Oneworld alliance. Delta and its SkyTeam partners earlier this year attempted unsuccessfully to persuade JAL to leave Oneworld and join their grouping.

The department has concluded that each proposed anti-trust tie-up would enhance competition in transpacific markets, lower fares and reduce travel and connection times.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news