BA, American Dilute Trans-Atlantic Alliance Proposals

21 November 2002

British Airways and American Airlines - whose ambitions for a transatlantic marriage were thwarted by regulators at the start of the year [WAMN: 28-Jan-02] – are pursuing a relationship of a more modest nature.

The duo have asked US regulators for permission to set up a code-sharing scheme for routes on which they do not directly compete.

Under the proposals, AA could sell seats on BA flights under its own name, and vice versa. The agreement would include all trans-Atlantic routes served by only one of the two, as well as BA flights to around 100 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and AA connections to about 190 destinations elsewhere in the Americas.

The two operators tried twice, in 1996 and 2000, to gain regulatory permission for plans to combine their trans-Atlantic businesses, setting joint schedules and pooling revenue, costs and marketing information.

However, regulators imposed so many conditions on the scheme that it was dropped. Under the new, less ambitious deal, the two would simply market seats on each other’s flights.

Data sourced from: USA Today; additional content by WARC staff