US travel agents provide support for American Airlines-Qantas proposed joint business agreement

    American Airlines filed (09-Mar-2018) letters of support from travel agents in the US with the US Department of Transportation that support its application seeking antitrust immunity for its proposed joint business agreement with Qantas. The carrier provided a list of 20 trade partners urging the DoT back the new venture. Letters of support for the agreement were provided from agents at Travel Leaders, All Direct Travel, America & Beyond Travel, Hess Travel, Regency Travel, Travel Edge, Luxe Travel Management, Cain Travel, Sky Bird Travel & Tours and Travel Destinations. Each of the submissions are in “strong support” of the proposed antitrust immunity (ATI) between American Airlines and Qantas. “Our company and our employees will benefit in many ways from approval of the proposed joint venture, which will lower fares, increase capacity, add new flight and route options, enhance codeshare connectivity & improve schedule coordination,” each travel firm said on their own letterhead. The letter also said approving the agreement would boost competition of services already offered under the antitrust immunised JVs of Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia and United Airlines and Air New Zealand. “By approving and granting ATI to the proposed JV, the DoT will ensure that American and Qantas can offer the same level of service and connectivity as these other partnerships”, the letter notes. [more – original PR]