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
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.