Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico are Losing Antitrust Immunity

by Anthony Losanno
Aeromexico Delta

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Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico are both members of the SkyTeam Alliance. They also have held antitrust immunity since 2016. This means that they could coordinate things like pricing and schedules on transborder flights. Well, not anymore. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has decided not to renew this agreement.

The two carriers will still be able to remain in the same alliance and offer frequent flier benefits, but they won’t be able to coordinate fares or schedules after October 26th. This is happening because the DOT is saying that the process that the government of Mexico uses to award slots at Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) is not clear and anticompetitive. It claims that Aeromexico has been able to hold onto its slots while not fully utilizing them in order to keep other carriers away.

Mexico City

To make things worse, the government of Mexico has also banned all cargo operations and reduced capacity at the airport over the past few years. It further claims that this was needed for construction plans that ironically don’t exist. The Mexican government seems to want to push flights to the newer and less desirable Felipe Angeles International Airport (NLU) in Mexico City. This has not been working as well as the government had hoped, so it seems more measures needed to be taken.

Anthony’s Take: It will be interesting to see how this changes the relationship between the two SkyTeam airlines and if anything can be done to change the Department of Transportation’s decision here (if any of the parties even want that to happen).

(Image Credit: Delta Air Lines.)

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