For the record, Delta per se has not objected (yet - I suspect that will take more time) to the B6-AA partnership, only to say that SHOULD the alliance be approved then JetBlue should be denied Heathrow access on certain grounds. Delta outlines those objective grounds in their response. I happen to agree with them. JetBlue and American are on the same team, regardless of routes expanding where the other won't. Such expansion will be financed by the cozy relationship up in Boston and NYC IMO.
As I demonstrated with my factual response, that is demonstrably false, which makes your entire argument void.
Delta clearly is shaking in their boots and I doubt this will be entertained. Perhaps the days of them being the industry bully are over.
Exactly. When you are complaining, you are losing.
EI asks to join the AA/AY/IAG JV.
B6 asks for remedial slot allocation at LHR.
DL doesn't object to EI joining the AA/BA/etc. TATL joint venture.
DL doesn't ask itself for remedial LHR slot allocations in the interest of fair competition.
Instead, DL objects to B6's request for remedy, on the flimsy assertion that B6 should be considered part of the AA TATL operation based on a proposed domestic codeshare partnership that specifically and explicitly excludes B6's potential TATL operations.
DL's interest here is in LIMITING competition from B6. Anyone in the NYC-LHR market would want to protect their interests in that market, as it's not only extremely lucrative, but will be essential to international post-COVID recovery. Again, DL is not objecting here directly to the proposed AA-B6 partnership. It's not even responding to EI's proposal which prompted B6's request. It is responding specifically and ONLY to B6's request for LHR slots. If DL actually took their own assertion about "de facto merger" seriously, they would file an objection to the AA-B6 domestic codeshare and make that argument. But they didn't. They made it here, specifically for protectionist purposes.
I love how a move to PREVENT competition in the NYC-LHR market, by a low-cost competitor who will undercut everyone (including AA and UA) on price, is being positioned by DL—and championed blindly by DL fans—as a principled stand FOR competition and fair play.
Delta has objected to allocation of Heathrow slots and they needed to give reasons for it and they did. They don't have to predicate that with asserting an official separate "de facto merger" objection to make that objection relevant. I hear your logic above, but to blindly assert Delta's motive is to PREVENT competition is very misleading when alliances and the total aggregate of slots they own have been considered upon in prior route allocations. What Delta is doing is this, in my words: if you take a look at what is happening domestically between AA and B6, you will find that they are rationalizing capacity to a point that perhaps the necessary cost and capacity making Heathrow routes feasible on JetBlue may in effect be financed by the non-response of American to JetBlue expansion out of Boston and NYC on the domestic side. If JetBlue and American for the majority of JetBlue's route structure (mainly Boston and NYC) are rationalizing capacity and the traffic flow and profits by which that is generated are benefiting both carriers, then they are ONE carrier in my book. Therefore, although JetBlue on paper is not a OW member, they will be "colluding" in and out of important international gateways on the domestic side to cast doubt that they are the best candidate to inject equitable competition on Heathrow routes, especially when a good part will rely on connecting traffic, and regardless of the pretending BA and AA claim to fear them. If you are rationalizing capacity then you are colluding with each other, and B6 and AA have made that no secret.
The issue is that is no objective, quantifiable evidence that supports this. The argument is really clutching at staws. As I said before, that suggests to me that Delta knows it's BS as we would have heard a lot more about it there really was potentially illegal or uncompetitive conduct.
Keeping JetBlue out of LHR helps Delta on those TATL routes directly, and in the NYC and BOS corporate markets more broadly. Of course they are objecting to JetBlue receiving remedy slots, it is in their interests. If there was a stronger argument than "AA are illegally colluding with B6, and our proof is that B6 launched 50 flights from EWR and CLT wasn't one of them" then you can be sure that Delta would have fun with it.
Exactly, this is about keeping out additional competition into LHR. A very weak argument.
DL's argument is that if a JV give up 4 slots to another carrier, somehow there will be less competition because that other carrier has some code share on flights that are not part of the JV? The argument is ridiculous to say the least.
Collusion can take many forms. "Rationalizing" by carving out domestic markets out of Boston and NYC is the collusion I am talking about, just as a merger would. If you want to extrapolate that to the legal sense of collusion then that's your call. They are colluding by the very nature of their rationalization and their future blatant attempt to rationalize capacity for the benefit of each to compete against other carriers (and then want to claim they are separate entities in international route proceedings (?) It is not my intention to continually support vicariously Delta's response. Delta's response is brilliant and supports my stance 100%.
So after telling me that you have proof there is collusion from AA's public statement, you have absolutely nothing
De facto merger here = 1) as close a relationship they can get under the current pandemic landscape without objection by the union/shareholders accusing either airline of not putting their workers first and 2) as close a relationship they can get under the current pandemic landscape without objection by the gov't claiming CARES ACT funds are subsidizing it.
they can get a lot closer if they want. Domestic codeshare is a very weak form of alliance. And unlike AA'a partnership with AS, it's limited in scope. Again, your point 1) is clearly false.
Additional competition is good if it = level-playing field whereby authorities treat JetBlue as part of American in the Boston/NYC markets due to their blatant attempt to rationalize their capacity to serve different domestic markets (think complementing rather than competing here).
International route proceedings take into consideration the overall landscape at play, including the domestic front. Delta is asking for that simple request. JetBlue wanting Heathrow service is fine and dandy, so long they are considered for slots under American's wing as the alliance sure seems predicated upon just that.
As others have said, this is a weak argument by DL trying to prevent competition. The idea that JetBlue taking valuable slots away from AA/BA JV somehow makes things less competitive is an extremely weak argument.
DL is really grasping at straws here.