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EU Offers Terms To Brit Airways, AL

July 7, 1998

LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ The European Union will ask British Airways and American Airlines to give up 267 slots at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports in return for approval of their planned linkup, an EU official said today.

EU Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert said the European Commission was also examining other aspects of the planned mega-alliance, including the frequency of flights on individual transatlantic routes and joint marketing.

The EU Commission, the 15-nation bloc’s executive body, is due to make a preliminary ruling on the BA-American linkup on Wednesday.

The Commission is also expected to make an announcement Wednesday on an existing alliance involving Lufthansa and United Airlines. Van Miert said the EU would call for the Star Alliance between Lufthansa and United to give up 108 slots at Frankfurt airport.

Van Miert has previously said all transatlantic airline alliances under review will likely have to cede airport slots to get EU regulatory approval.

Without such a move, a small number of airlines would end up with an iron grip on the best slots at airports on both sides of the Atlantic.

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