Alitalia and the Italian government, sharply rebutting a complaint
filed against them by American and United, asserted the government
did not violate its aviation agreement with the U.S. and therefore
the airline should not be penalized.
decision by the U.S. Transportation Department could affect some of
Alitalias U.S. services.
United filed their complaint with the DOT because Italian
authorities rejected their request to place their code on European
airline partner flights to Milans Linate Airport from other
Milan is served
by two airports: Linate, about six miles from the citys center, and
Malpensa, about 29 miles away from the citys center.
government is trying to promote Malpensa as an intercontinental hub
to alleviate congestion at Linate, so it has restricted services to
Linate to point-to-point, intra-European Union flights by airlines
in European Union member states.
United, however, complained that their requests were rejected even
though one-stop U.S.-Linate service is offered by Alitalia and its
code-share partners, as well as by some European carriers via their
European hub airports.
They said the DOT
should retaliate by forbidding Alitalia from selling service from
the U.S. to Linate.
Alitalia and the
Italian government, however, said American and United are
misrepresenting what Alitalia and other European carriers are
allowed to do.
the government said, are not selling U.S.-Linate
passengers are flying into airports where they can separately book
a local flight to Linate.
legitimate operations would be completely unwarranted and
inconsistent with the international air transport system, the
government said. A logical consequence would bring about the
exclusion of connections from every other airport of a local
character not open to intercontinental services, but from which
passengers can legitimately begin or terminate routes,
independently choosing the points from which to make international
acknowledged that it had displayed for sale its own third-country,
code-share service between Linate and the U.S. via Paris with Air
France, violating the restrictions.
however, contended that the display of the Air France U.S.-Paris
segment in conjunction with Alitalias Paris-Linate flight was the
result of technical problems in providing discrete treatment of
Linate airport service in [GDS] systems and has been
reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].