Continental Airlines and United Airlines today filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity to enable them to create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Pacific network along with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA).
The trans-Pacific joint venture — the first of its kind between the U.S. and Asia — also would enable ANA, Continental, and United to compete more effectively with other global alliances, each of which has a significant presence in Tokyo.
Upon DOT approval of the companies’ immunity application, ANA, Continental, and United will be able to jointly manage trans-Pacific activities including scheduling, pricing and sales, offering customers a greater selection of routings and a wider range of fare and service options.
“Our network of service to nine Japanese cities will be enhanced by giving our customers more options for using our flights in conjunction with United and ANA for trips both within the region as well as on trans-Pacific routes,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“This joint venture, coupled with the recently announced open skies agreement between the U.S. and Japan, will significantly enhance our ability to serve customers in Japan and throughout Asia and offer new choice and convenience for customers,” said Glenn Tilton, United’s chairman and chief executive officer.
The Department of Transportation granted antitrust immunity to United and Continental in July 2009, enabling the two carriers to coordinate schedules and fares for services outside the United States.
With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.
United Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation, operates approximately 3,300 flights a day on United and United Express to more than 200 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest International carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides connections for our customers to 1,077 destinations in 175 countries worldwide. United’s 47,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world.