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American Airlines and Finnair file for anti-trust immunity

American Airlines and Finnair have filed with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for anti-trust immunity that will allow the two carriers to co-operate on scheduling and pricing initiatives, enhancing the airlines' existing code-share agreement as well as the global oneworld™ alliance under which the two carriers operate.

David Cush, American's Vice-President of International Planning and Alliances, said: "Finnair has an outstanding reputation for its service, and has built a strong route network in northern Europe and beyond into Russia and the major cities of the Baltic region. As we seek to enhance the oneworld alliance, anti-trust immunity provides several ways for us to deepen and expand a valued relationship that has been successful for both airlines."

He noted that there is no overlap in service provided by the two airlines, with Finnair flying daily service between Helsinki and New York Kennedy, and American currently having no service into the Scandinavian region. He added: "As we make plans for our expansion at Kennedy airport after the completion of our new terminal, we want to develop our product with Finnair to provide our passengers an unsurpassed offer for travel to Scandinavia."

Kari Koli, Finnair's Vice-President of Alliances and International Relations, said: "The US remains an important market in our network, and our growing relationship with American Airlines will help us identify opportunities to expand our service as the industry recovers and the demand for air travel increases.

"Finland was one of the first nations to recognize the value of open skies and signed an agreement with the US in 1995, and this application will allow us to realize the full potential of that agreement. A broader relationship will benefit oneworld passengers by improving our joint offer to the market, and will also strengthen the role which Finnair can play in the oneworld network."

In their application, the two carriers note that the terms of their agreement are comparable to a number of other agreements already approved by the DOT and are fully consistent with the open skies agreement between the US and Finland.