EU regulators clear Air France-KLM, Delta and Alitalia pact

Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Alitalia secured EU antitrust approval on Tuesday for their profit-sharing pact after offering to help rivals enter the market for certain routes.

The concessions came after a three-year investigation by the European Commission which warned of possible harm to passengers on routes from New York to Amsterdam and Rome, as well as premium travellers on the Paris to New York route.

The airlines offered to give up slots at Amsterdam, Rome and New York airports for these routes, and will also allow rivals to offer tickets on their flights on these routes.

The concessions, which include making it easier for competitors to link to connecting traffic, will be valid for 10 years. Reuters reported on April 28 that the Commission would approve the transatlantic alliance.

The industry looks to global alliances such as SkyTeam, Oneworld and Star Alliance to drive growth as they allow carriers to set up revenue-sharing ventures on key markets, while getting around the foreign ownership curbs that exist in many countries.

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