Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, has accused British Airways of creating a “monster monopoly” through its alliance with American Airlines. The two airlines signed a deal yesterday (August 14).
The joint venture will create a giant transatlantic multi-route business if it gets the green light from regulators. It will also involve Spanish Airline partner Iberia and will give the alliance nearly half of all slots at Heathrow.
While BA says the deal is good for passengers and the industry, Branson is reported to have slammed it for being a “monster monopoly” that will push up ticket prices and reduce competition.
The agreement will involve a combined route network serving 443 destinations in 106 countries with 6,200 daily departures, but it still needs regulatory approval from American and European authorities.
The move is the third attempt by BA and American Airlines to create an alliance in 11 years. BA says the airline industry and competitive environment has “changed radically” since its previous attempts.