The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today asked members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for their continued support of antitrust immunity for international airline alliances as they begin to draft Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation. In a letter today, ATA asked that the Senate reject the approach the House version of FAA reauthorization takes regarding Department of Transportation review of applications for antitrust immunity for international airline alliances. ATA strongly opposes language in the House-passed bill that would irresponsibly reverse long-standing processes for granting antitrust immunity, and would prematurely terminate grants for existing alliances.
“International alliances offer significant benefits to passengers, and arbitrarily terminating antitrust immunity - even temporarily - will cause significant harm,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May. “The traveling and shipping public will lose service options and see higher fares. Without alliances, airline employees could lose as many as 15,000 jobs. And all of this would cause a ripple effect across the economy.”