Kansas City, MO—Vanguard Airlines issued the following statement in response to the antitrust filing by the Department of Justice against American Airlines for predatory practices.
Robert J. “Rocky” Spane, CEO and President of Vanguard Airlines, said, “Vanguard`s position, which it has held for three years, has been vindicated. We believe the actions that American Airlines took to eliminate Vanguard Airlines from the Dallas/Ft. Worth marketplace were unlawful and violated the antitrust laws. We are delighted that the Justice Department has agreed. This is a move that will help preserve open competition throughout the industry and help consumers and new entrant airlines alike.
We also announced today that Vanguard will commence service on July 15, 1999 between Chicago and Buffalo, with four daily flights. This is a route that American Airlines also serves, so we will be watching closely for any capacity dumping, predatory pricing, excessive override commissions to travel agents, increased frequent flier benefits and disproportionate levels of advertising targeted specifically at this route.”
Vanguard, which began service in December 1994 and is headquartered in Kansas City, is a low-fare, passenger airline providing convenient, scheduled jet service. Vanguard serves the following nine cities: Atlanta, Buffalo (effective July 15, 1999), Chicago-Midway, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach and Pittsburgh. The Company employs approximately 800 full-time equivalent employees and currently operates a fleet of eleven Boeing 737-200`s, with one more due for delivery in June 1999. The Company has also signed letters of intent for three replacement aircraft, with anticipated delivery dates in the second half of 1999. Vanguard reported its first-ever annual operating profit in 1998 and its fourth consecutive quarter of operating profits in the first quarter of 1999.