Delta, Others Want Antitrust Shield

Delta Air Lines and five of its American and European alliance partners renewed an application to federal regulators for antitrust immunity covering their trans-Atlantic flights.

Such immunity would allow the airlines to coordinate activities on their trans-Atlantic flights that would otherwise be illegal, such as sharing traffic, fare and cost data, and revenue and profits.

The airlines, which also include Northwest, Air France, KLM, Alitalia and CSA Czech Airlines, filed the application Thursday with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The carriers abandoned a similar application early last year after the Department of Justice said such joint operations would harm competition.

However, Delta hopes the recently approved "open skies" agreement between the United States and the European Union increases regulators' receptiveness.

The open skies agreement, reached this spring, gives carriers access to nearly any destination on either side of the Atlantic.

That includes London's Heathrow Airport, where Delta has been trying to land for decades.

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