Every day sees Virgin Atlantic, Delta on one side and BA and American Airlines on the other, carve out a huge slice of the worlds most lucrative routes over the Atlantic.
Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM are seeking immunity for an expanded joint venture agreement that would see Delta buy 10% of AF-KLM, who in turn would buy a huge chunk of Virgin Atlantic with the money.
This gives AF-KLM control of boardroom seats at Virgin, with 49% owned by Delta already, it effectively places the airline under the control of Delta, as with Delta on the board of AF-KLM there’s only one way they’ll ever vote.
The idea is to include AF_KLM in the joint venture agreement which would see all airlines selling each others seats.
JetBlue argues – and one has to have sympathy with how they feel, that this is just further reinforcing the duopoly that already exists and reduces competition to the point that it’s making any real possibility of smaller airlines competing, almost impossible.
JetBlue has long studied the idea crossing the Atlantic, but its ability to do so profitably is in ever-growing doubt, as the big legacy airlines choke off ever more opportunities with their Joint ventures and the immunity it brings them, from prosecution for colluding on prices and monopolistic practices.