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US Rejects Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines Antitrust Waiver

 |  March 15, 2020

The US Transportation Department on Friday, Mach 13,  rejected a bid by antitrust immunity for Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines Co for an expanded joint venture.

The department said in a order that the airlines can continue to coordinate and “further explore how best to structure an arms-length partnership or, alternatively, revise other documents to reflect important changes they propose to implement to their commercial agreements.”

The airlines had “not demonstrated how the [joint venture] would function in terms of revenue sharing, pricing and marketing,” despite previous questions raised by regulators, the Department of Transportation said on Friday. As a result, it denied Hawaiian and JAL’s request for immunity for their proposed partnership.

“This decision stifles competition and ultimately hurts consumers by preventing both Hawaiian and JAL from offering more choice and greater access… between Japan and Hawaii, and beyond,” Hawaiian spokesperson Tara Shimooka told TPG. “We will continue to evaluate opportunities to enrich our partnership and deliver greater value to our guests.”

Hawaiian and JAL sought approval for a pact that would have allowed them to coordinate services between Hawaii and Japan, as well as into Asia. Coordination of everything from flights to fares and sales is possible with antitrust immunity from the DOT.

Full Content: Reuters

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