Northwest Whining about antitrust immunity denial for Skyteam


Jan 5, 2003
Too funny! NW and their alliance is rejected, not unlike AA and BA. What's really rich is the part about the "sophisticated" consumers, like GM and Ford and FedEx. As if AA and BA don't also have sophisticated customers.

NW, you crapped on the proposed AA/BA alliance, and now the BS you spewed is hitting you in the face. :up:

Northwest Disappointed and Surprised by U.S. DOT's Denial of SkyTeam Airlines' Anti-Trust Immunity Application

Press Release

Thursday December 22, 1:18 pm ET

Decision Inconsistent With DOT's Prior Approval of Other ATI Applications and With Administration Objectives

EAGAN, Minn., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northwest Airlines (OTC: NWACQ - News) today expressed its disappointment and surprise at the United States Department of Transportation's (DOT) decision to deny the application of a group of airlines in the SkyTeam alliance for international anti-trust immunity (ATI) on trans-Atlantic routes.

The application, filed in September of 2004, sought to bridge the ATI already held by Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines and Delta Air Lines, with the ATI already held by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

"We are truly surprised and disappointed by the DOT's actions," said Andrea Fischer Newman, senior vice president of government affairs. "The decision is inconsistent with all of the DOT's prior decisions wherein they have consistently granted ATI to other global alliances, especially when, as here, the proposal is pro-competitive and will greatly benefit consumers."

"Northwest's request was simple. Today, there are three global alliances. Members of one alliance, SkyTeam, asked the DOT for ATI for the integration of their intra-alliance operations. Approval is critical for SkyTeam to provide maximum benefits to both U.S. consumers and the participating airlines. A more fully integrated SkyTeam offers significant advantages. Major corporations, which are sophisticated consumers of airline services, support SkyTeam's request. These companies, including General Motors, General Mills, Ford, and FedEx, say that an expanded SkyTeam will improve flight schedules, reduce travel times, add new service and lower fares," Fischer Newman continued.

"Today's DOT decision places these benefits in jeopardy, and does not help Northwest's efforts to emerge from bankruptcy. It is also inconsistent with the DOT's recent efforts to obtain 'open skies' between the U.S. and European Union (EU), as well as liberalization of airline ownership and control issues," she added.

"At a time when the Administration is calling for further liberalization and consolidation, it is hard to see how this decision is consistent with that policy."

Northwest intends to respond to the DOT's show cause order and will review all of the company's options as it moves forward.

The SkyTeam alliance of airlines, which includes Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines, serves over 35 million passengers annually.

Call a Whaaambulance!
actually, these are considerably different type of cases. AA's partner is based at an Europe which only 2 US carriers can presently serve and where AA is the dominant US airline while NW wanted to hitch a ride with DL in an already existing partnership. Neither are necessarily are good ideas but they are not the same.

Combined w/ NW's statement about cash problems, this could be a defining moment in NW's future.
actually, these are considerably different type of cases.

The circumstances may indeed be different, but it doesn’t change that Northwest is reaping what they sowed over the last few years, namely;

* Lobbying against AA-BA: you can bet that those airlines were lobbying hard against SkyTeam’s application

* Refusing to go along with fare increases to “hurt†United: yes, this did push United into Chapter 11, but they’re about to emerge as a much leaner (although not necessarily better) competitor

* Upgrading, rather than replacing the DC-9s: great idea at the time, but not with oil at $60-plus per barrel (I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve changed my tune since previous posts about this subject)

* Terrible labor relations: enough said

Back in 2002-2003 NWA rather smugly told the world how their “smart†decisions put them in a better position than their competitors. However, these very same decisions are coming back to haunt them, and this time the situation appears to be far more critical. One can only hope that the executive suite in Eagan thinks long and hard before making any more “smart†decisions. :unsure:
If you want to compare CDG/AMS with LHR on a strictly O&D market, then you could make that argument. As connecting destinations, the former trump a very constrained airport that used to be the dominant player in Eurpoe.