APA Echoes Senators’ Anti-Competitive Warning about AA’s Antitrust Immunity Application

Dépèche transmise le 16 octobre 2009 par Business Wire

APA Echoes Senators’ Anti-Competitive Warning about AA’s Antitrust Immunity Application

APA Echoes Senators’ Anti-Competitive Warning about AA’s Antitrust Immunity Application

FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), thanked U.S. Sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for expressing their “significant” concerns regarding the anti-competitive nature of American Airlines’ antitrust immunity application.

The two ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee called on the U.S. Department of Transportation to “act cautiously” and only approve the airline’s application if it would not “significantly harm competition.” The senators also directed their concern to the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division, which has previously stated its commitment to pursuing “vigorous antitrust enforcement” as a means of assuring markets remain competitive.

“We thank Sens. Kohl and Hatch for their justifiable concern,” said APA President Captain Lloyd Hill. “As they stated in their letter to the DOT, this alliance application raises significant competition issues. APA firmly believes that an alliance would result in fewer choices and higher ticket prices for travelers.”

Late last week, the Allied Pilots Association stated its unequivocal opposition to American Airlines’ application for worldwide antitrust immunity with British Airways and Iberia, citing European Commission concerns and the airline’s refusal to address job-security, anti-competitiveness and national-security issues.

This past Wednesday, nearly 50 pilots − including supportive representatives of the US Airline Pilots Association and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations − picketed the Transportation Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. to express APA’s strong opposition to the alliance.

“APA believes that, if approved, this ‘virtual merger’ would have a dramatic impact on hard-working Americans. When companies cooperate and consolidate as a part of a global airline alliance, some jobs are bound to become redundant,” Hill added. “Our government is spending billions of dollars on economic stimulus, but at the same time, advocating business practices and partnerships that outsource American jobs. It’s time to put a stop to the bleeding.”

Founded in 1963, APA—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, including 1,889 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s second-largest passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.

Business Wire

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