Air France, Delta Air Lines, Alitalia and CSA Czech Airlines today filed a joint application for antitrust immunity with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) that will allow the four carriers to expand their current marketing agreements and develop a coordinated approach to sales and marketing programs. When approved by the DoT, the carriers will be able to cooperate in the operation of their transatlantic route systems on a broad network-to-network basis to improve the quality and competitiveness of the services they offer to customers, while preserving their autonomy.
From now on, Air France, Delta, and CSA today offer codeshares on a number of transatlantic flights operated between the U.SA, France and the Czech Republic.
In addition, Air France links its extensive network of cities in Europe with many destinations served by Delta and CSA.
Beyond the European alliance between Air France and Alitalia, Delta and Alitalia have announced plans to offer codesharing later this year on U.S.-Italy flights.
The immunized alliance will be pro-consumer, pro-competitive :
* Linking Delta`s U.S. hubs with Air France`s Paris CDG hub; Alitalia`s Milan and Rome hubs; and CSA Czech`s Prague hub will expand the U.S.-European networks for the four carriers providing customers with more travel opportunities.
With antitrust immunity, the four carriers will expand their existing codeshare operations through a coordinated approach to schedules and routes and network planning.
* The proposed arrangement will allow the carriers to generate efficiencies and provide improved services to customers through coordinated marketing and sales programs, service standards and procedures, advertising and media programs, and cargo programs and operations.
* The alliance will produce cost efficiencies and savings, through the integration and coordination of services, which can be passed on to consumers in the form of improved service and access to lower fares.
The granting of antitrust immunity to Air France, Delta, Alitalia and CSA by the DoT will not affect the ongoing relationship each airline has with the other SkyTeam members. The SkyTeam alliance - which includes Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Delta, CSA Czech and Korean Air - will continue to provide worldwide airline passengers with an excellent standard of service as they travel on more than 8,000 daily flights throughout the alliance`s extensive route system.
Alitalia, which operates hubs in Milan and Rome, has more than 869 daily flights to
107 destinations in 53 countries. Founded in 1946, more than 26 million passengers flew on Alitalia last year. Alitalia has a fleet of 162 aircraft.
CSA, founded in 1923, is the largest scheduled airline in the Czech Republic. The carrier has a modern fleet of 30 Boeing and Airbus aircraft with an average aircraft age of less than six years and provides service to 64 destinations in Europe, North Africa, North America and the Middle East.
Delta`s goal is to become the No. 1 airline in the eyes of its customers, flying passengers and cargo from anywhere to everywhere. People choose to fly Delta more often than any other airline in the world on 5,280 flights each day to 376 cities in 64 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection carriers and Delta`s Worldwide Partners.
Air France is one of the world`s major airlines. It is the third largest international passenger carrier, and the fourth largest freight carrier. It also ranks second worldwide for aircraft maintenance.
Air France offers the largest medium-haul network in Europe today in terms of daily flights, and 91 percent of its long-haul services are non-stop. Air France customers can choose from 1,700 daily flights to more than 200 cities in 91 countries. Its fleet comprises nearly 240 aircraft.
Air France is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance which provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services.
For more information : www.airfrance.com /corporate.