Now wait a minute, Cba, an airline should be given new routes simply because it has a larger presence in the region!!!! That seems a little anticompetitive to me....seems like you are encouraging the creation of monopolies. By your logic, should we just give the routes to AA since they are larger then CO in Central/South America. Granted they already have service to EZE, but by your logic since they are much bigger they should be given the route authority.
I would hope the route authorities would be distributed in terms of which new flights will benefit the greatest number of people. Most likely, I forsee CO will get 7 frequencies to operated the EWR-EZE in April 2001 and then DL will get the other 7 frequencies to do ATL-EZE in December 2001.
CO may be bigger than DL in Central/South America but that may not last.. DL is catching up to CO having just added Santiago and Bogota. Both CO and DL are definitely poised to finally give American a real challenge.