European Union regulators approved a trans-Atlantic joint venture between Lufthansa, United Airlines and Air Canada after the carriers agreed to give up landing and take-off slots at Frankfurt and New York.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive, said the airlines, which are key members of the Star Alliance, will also strike agreements with competitors on ticketing and improved access to connecting flights.
The commission was concerned the revenue-sharing venture, would “eliminate competition between the parties on price and capacity,” particularly on the New York-Frankfurt route.
“This decision is a further milestone in our effort to create a level playing field on trans-Atlantic aviation markets,” said Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust commissioner.
The commission cleared a trans-Atlantic venture between oneworld alliance partners British Airways and Iberia — now merged into IAG — and American Airlines in 2010 after the carriers give up seven daily slots.
A similar deal between AirFrance-KLM, Alitalia and Delta Air Lines, members of the SkyTeam alliance, is still under investigation.