Northwest drops SkyTeam antitrust request


Nov 15, 2005
Northwest Airlines Corp. is withdrawing a request for antitrust immunity for its SkyTeam airline alliance, saying the Transportation Department had signaled it would reject the request anyway.

Separately Wednesday, the parent of Northwest regional feeder Mesaba Aviation Inc. said its fleet may be halved to just 49 turboprop aircraft because of Northwest's reorganization.

Northwest entered SkyTeam last year after its partner, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, merged with SkyTeam member Air France. Northwest has antitrust immunity to coordinate routes and pricing with KLM, but not with other SkyTeam members, which also includes Delta Air Lines Inc., Alitalia, Continental Airlines Inc. and CSA Czech Airlines. The request was submitted by all the carriers, and Northwest said its withdrawal request would apply to the full alliance.

Northwest and Skyteam members can still codeshare, which makes it easier for passengers to book trips on a single ticket with multiple airlines. But the Transportation Department had said the Skyteam routes overlap so much that little new service was likely to result from an antitrust waiver.

AP Wire
So does NW have immunity with AF?

I am a little confused as to how they could have immunity with KL, and DL can have it with AF, when KL and AF are the same company. Seems to me that they might as well all have immunity together.
So does NW have immunity with AF?

Nope -- DOJ won't allow them to have ATI as long as DL and AF have ATI.

whlinder said:
KL and AF share common ownership, but I believe they still function as two separate legal entities. As they merge into a single entity, either NW or DL will have to forego immunity.