American Airlines Granted Approval for Qantas Partnership Once Rejected by the Obama Administration

American Airlines has been given final approval for a partnership with Australian carrier Quantas -- a deal rejected three years ago by the Obama Administration over antitrust concerns.Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao approved antitrust immunity for the deal that will allow the two biggest airlines in North America and Australia to share flight numbers on planes, pricing, sales and frequent flyer information.Federal regulators gave tentative approval to the partnership in June, but the final approval tells the airlines that the U.S. government doesn't plan to sue on antitrust grounds."We look forward to working closely with our valued partner, Qantas, on this new joint business," said a statement from American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. "We now have the opportunity to launch new routes and provide enhanced service with better schedules, additional frequent flyer benefits and continued investments in the overall customer experience."The two airlines tried and failed to gain approval for a partnership back in 2016, when federal regulators wouldn't give antitrust approval because of a "high risk of competitive harm" on flights connecting the Australia region to the United States.   Continue reading...

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