Alitalia, Delta, Air France and CSA Czech Airlines receive antitrust immunity

SkyTeam carriers Delta Air Lines, Air France, Alitalia and CSA Czech Airlines on 18 January 2002 received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for antitrust immunity that will permit the carriers to implement a more integrated global airline alliance.

The four carriers today operate a number of transatlantic codeshare flights. With antitrust immunity Alitalia, Delta, Air France and CSA Czech airlines will have the opportunity to coordinate routes, schedules and implement marketing and sales programmes. They will also manage to expand frequent flyers schemes, launch pricing initiatives and advertising campaigns. Cargo operations will be coordinated resulting in improved services to customers.

Antitrust immunity will encourage Alitalia and its SkyTeam to maximize benefits to the overall network, improving customer choice for passengers travelling to and from Europe and the US. Passengers flying to the United States will be able to link up with Delta`s extensive domestic system to reach destinations throughout the United States.

With the approval by DOT, the four SkyTeam carriers now will be able to operate the third immunized transatlantic alliance which will create a more competitive marketplace and allow customers more choices.