Competition & Markets Authority Interim Measures Directions - Investigation into Atlantic Joint Business Agreement - MONITORING TRUSTEE
Mazars LLP is the Monitoring Trustee approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) for the monitoring of the interim measures directions (“Directions”) given by the CMA to American Airlines Group Inc, British Airways plc, and Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA and International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (“Parties”) dated 17 September 2020 pursuant to section 35(2) of the Competition Act 1998.
Further information about the case including the Directions is available from the CMA website using this link: Investigation of the AJBA.
The 2010 Commitments can be downloaded directly from the European Commission website using this link: Final Commitments PDF.
The general responsibilities of the Monitoring Trustee are set out in section 5.2 of the 2010 Commitments (pursuant to clause 10 of the Directions). The Monitoring Trustee also has specific responsibilities which are set out in the relevant clauses of the Directions.
Amended Slot Release Procedure under the Directions on the London-Boston, London-Dallas/Fort Worth and London-Miami city pairs for the IATA Summer 2022 Season
The Directions foresee an amended Slot Release Procedure for the IATA Summer 2022 Season which differs in material respects from previous procedures under the 2010 Commitments. The amended Slot Release Procedure is explained in overview below.
Pursuant to clause 3 of the Directions, the CMA directed the Parties to make available at London (at the choice of the Prospective Entrant, at either Heathrow or Gatwick) Slots to allow a Prospective Entrant to operate up to seven (7) round-trips per week on the London-Boston city pair and Prospective Entrant(s) or Prospective One-Stop Entrant(s) to operate up to seven (7) round-trips per week on the London-Dallas/Fort Worth and London-Miami city pairs for (at the choice of the Prospective Entrant or Prospective One-Stop Entrant) up to four (4) consecutive IATA Seasons commencing with the IATA Summer 2022 Season. Under clause 4(a)(i) of the Directions and clause 1.3.1A of the Commitments, any airline wishing to apply for a Slot or Slots under the Directions other than those airlines who entered into agreements pursuant to clause 1 of the Directions, on one or more of the London-Boston, London-Miami and London-Dallas/Fort Worth city pairs shall inform the Monitoring Trustee of its intention to apply for a Slot or Slots and to request that the CMA considers its eligibility to do so.
The Monitoring Trustee opened the Slot Release Procedure for the IATA Summer 2022 Season on 3 June 2021.
Pursuant to clause 4(a)(ii) of the Directions and clause 1.3.1B of the Commitments, the CMA (advised by the Monitoring Trustee and the DOT) shall assess whether the Applicant meets the definition of Prospective Entrant as set out in the definitions of the Directions.
In accordance with clause 4(a)(iii) of the Directions and clause 1.3.1C of the Commitments, if the CMA decides that the Applicant does not meet the Prospective Entrant definition, the CMA shall inform the Applicant and the Parties of that decision at least eleven (11) weeks before the Slot Request Submission Deadline (“SRSD”, which is 7 October 2021) by 22 July 2021. If the Applicant does not meet the Prospective Entrant definition or if there are no Applicants, the CMA shall, at least eleven (11) weeks before the SRSD, i.e., by 22 July 2021, inform the counterparties to the Slot Release Agreement(s) (“SRAs”) concluded under clause 1 that they can extend those agreements on the same terms for a duration (at the choice of the respective counterparty) of up to four (4) consecutive IATA Seasons commencing with the IATA Summer 2022 IATA Season.
Under clause 4(a)(iv) of the Directions, the Parties shall, within five (5) Working Days from the date on which the Parties are notified by the CMA that there are no Applicants eligible under the Prospective Entrant definition, write to all relevant counterparties offering to extend the existing SRAs on the same terms as the SRAs concluded under clause 1 of the Directions and to promptly execute such extensions upon the receipt of confirmation of agreement from the respective counterparty.
Pursuant to clause 4(a)(v) of the Directions and clause 1.3.1D of the Commitments, if the CMA decides that the Applicant meets the Prospective Entrant definition, it shall inform the Applicant, the Parties and the counterparties, at least eleven (11) weeks before the SRSD, i.e., by 22 July 2021. The slot release process outlined at clauses 1.2 and 1.3 of the 2010 Commitments (as amended by the Directions) shall then be applied.
The deadline for notifications by any airlines wishing to apply for a Slot or Slots under the Directions, other than those airlines who entered into agreements pursuant to clause 1 of the Directions, of the intention to apply for Slots and requests that the CMA considers their eligibility to do so pursuant to clause 1.3.1A of the 2010 Commitments as added by clause 4(a)(i) of the Directions is 6pm British Summer Time (“BST”) on Thursday 1 July 2021. Notifications received after this deadline will be rejected.
In the event that the CMA determines that applications received on 1 July 2021 are eligible, the deadline for re-applications pursuant to Clause 1.3.1 of the 2010 Commitments in connection with clause 4(a)(v) of the Directions is 6pm BST on Thursday 19 August 2021. This applies to the airlines who are a counterparty to any of the existing SRAs concluded under clause 1 of the Directions in the event that the CMA considers that the Applicants are eligible. Applications received after this deadline will be rejected.
The deadline for the submission of detailed business plans to the Monitoring Trustee pursuant to clause 1.3.7 of the 2010 Commitments in connection with clause 4(a)(v) of the Directions is 6pm BST on 7 October 2021 (SRSD).
To facilitate the submission of Slot Requests and the processing of application information, the Monitoring Trustee has prepared a Slot Request Application Form, a copy of which may be requested by emailing the Monitoring Trustee at:
Applicants are allowed to request anonymity as set out in clauses 1.3.1(d) and 1.3.3 of the 2010 Commitments in connection with clause 4(a)(v) of the Directions.
Applicants that DO NOT require anonymity for their Slot Request/s are strongly encouraged also to contact Airport Coordination Ltd (“ACL”) at the earliest opportunity. ACL is responsible for the coordination of slots, service and infrastructure requirements at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. In the first instance, Applicants should contact Richard Cann or Ingrid Hainy at ACL, whose details are provided below.
Airport Coordination Ltd
240 London Road
Applicants that REQUIRE ANONYMITY under the terms of clauses 1.3.1(d) and 1.3.3 of the 2010 Commitments in connection with clause 4(a)(v) of the Directions) should ONLY CONTACT THE MONITORING TRUSTEE through the email addresses provided above.
Other contact information for the Monitoring Trustee:
AJB Monitoring Trustee
FAO Justin Menezes
Tower Bridge House
St Katharine’s Way
Tel: +44 (0)7881 284 080