DIARY: USAir hires Waterfront to fight BA/AA alliance

Transport public affairs specialist The Waterfront Partnership has been hired by USAir to support its fight against the planned alliance between British Airways and American Airlines.

Transport public affairs specialist The Waterfront Partnership has been

hired by USAir to support its fight against the planned alliance between

British Airways and American Airlines.



Waterfront is believed to have been recruited as a pair of ‘eyes and

ears on the ground’ to monitor any moves by the British Government

concerning the planned alliance. However, its brief is not thought to

involve any direct lobbying.



It was appointed after GJW, which has worked for TWA in the US and the

UK since March 1995, turned down the work due to conflict of interest.



USAir, in which BA holds a 24.6 per cent stake, is campaigning to have

the deal referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.



It is also working for the introduction of an ‘open skies’ agreement, by

which, subject to availability of slots, airlines can fly to any

destination.



Waterfront’s recruitment is the latest step in USAir’s campaign against

the BA/AA deal which was announced in July.



Earlier this week, the airline applied for permission to fly from four

US cities directly to Heathrow - routes which, if the alliance goes

ahead, would be dominated by BA/AA.



Previously, it expressed its concerns to the London Office of Fair

Trading, filed a lawsuit against British Airways claiming damages for

breach of contract; demanded that three BA directors on its own board

resign and requested that BA divest its holding.



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