By Don Douloff, April 23, 2009
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has tentatively approved Continental Airlines’ application to join the alliance between United Airlines and eight other Star Alliance member carriers and for Continental to enter into an integrated worldwide alliance.
In rendering its decision, the DOT agreed to give Continental antitrust immunity.
In addition to Continental and United, the eight Star Alliance members receiving tentative DOT approval for antitrust immunity are Air Canada, Austrian, bmi, Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), SWISS and TAP Air Portugal.
According to the DOT, the alliances would increase service in international markets, give travellers more options and shorter trip times and reduce fares.
The world’s fifth-largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, offers more than 2,800 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
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