A request by Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines for antitrust immunity to allow them to expand their cooperation was denied by the US Department of Transportation, which stated the benefits from increased cooperation could be secured without antitrust immunity.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Department of Transportation stated the airlines could secure the commercial benefits from increased cooperation without the antitrust immunity they need to coordinate fares and schedules and share revenues and profits.
Airlines in the three big global alliances that dominate most markets rely on antitrust immunity for much of their cooperation, but the benefits have frayed in recent years and led some carriers to pursue alternative pacts.
Critics also argue that the arrangements inflate fares, though airlines with immunity claim they expand consumer choice by offering more routes.
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