American and United accused the Italian government of violating the
U.S.-Italy aviation agreement, and they want the U.S. to retaliate
by forbidding Alitalia from selling service from the U.S. to
Milan's Linate Airport.
the U.S.-Linate market with its own aircraft and via code sharing
with Delta and Air France.
In a joint
complaint filed at the Transportation Department against the
Italian government and Alitalia, American and United said Italian
authorities rejected their requests to place their code on European
airline partner flights to Linate from European
The two U.S.
carriers claim this refusal violates the aviation agreement by
denying them the right "to a fair and equal opportunity to
Milan is served
by two airports: Linate, about six miles from the city's center,
and Malpensa, about 29 miles away. The Italian government is trying
to promote Malpensa as a hub to alleviate congestion at
United used to offer nonstop service to Malpensa but said they
withdrew because they could not compete against one-stop
U.S.-Linate service offered by Alitalia and its code-share partners
as well as by some European carriers via their European
particularly local business travelers, prefer Linate because of its
proximity to the city, American said.
authorities told American and United their requests were rejected
because, under a transportation minister decree in 2001, the
government will allow only European Union carriers to offer
intra-European service to Linate.
said Alitalia service complies with that decree because it operates
between Linate and Paris and Rome, where it connects with its
partner flights that serve the U.S.
reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].