U.S. Department of Transportation Denies Renewal of Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico’s Joint Venture

Delta Air Lines DL A350-900 N502DN

The U.S. Department of Transportation has provisionally rejected the application for the renewal of the antitrust immunity (ATI) pertaining to the joint venture between Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico.

The decision comes in response to recent measures taken by the Mexican government, including the prohibition of all cargo flights at Mexico City International Airport and reductions in capacity. These measures effectively removed the necessary conditions for considering the continuation of the exemption. The governments of the United States and Mexico had been disputing over the compliance of air agreements and slot management at airports with international norms, but no changes in policy had been made.

The two airlines applied for the joint venture in 2015, and the U.S. Department of Transportation granted permission in December 2016. Conditions included a review by Mexican authorities of the slot allocation process and expansion of capacity through the construction of a new airport in Mexico City. The term was later extended until March 2022, and the continuation had been allowed during the application period.

The joint venture can continue until a final decision on the renewal application is made. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposal suggests that, after the final decision, the operation would end on October 26, at the close of the next IATA traffic season.

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