Simple Flying - Devansh Mehta

British Airways and American Airlines have been instructed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to continue offering UK-US slots for two years more than the previously agreed-upon timeline. The CMA’s decision comes as it struggles to conclude an ongoing investigation into competition concerns caused by the ‘Atlantic Joint Business Agreement' (AJBA).

As part of an interim decision announced by the CMA in May 2020, British Airways and American Airlines, the two major UK and US partners in the AJBA, were required to give up four lucrative slots on London-US routes. Following the competition watchdog’s decision, the UK government started inviting bids for these surrendered slots. The available slots were:

  • 2 x Boston - London
  • 1 x Dallas/Fort Worth - London
  • 1 x Miami - London

Carriers could choose from London’s Heathrow or Gatwick Airport. Only one of the Boston – London slots was unused in 2020. In order to offload it, the UK government invited tenders for consideration and later awarded the daily slot to United Airlines. United launched a nonstop service between London Heathrow and Boston in October last year.

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