Blue Skies For Continental Airlines In Bid To Join Star Alliance

On July 10, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") granted antitrust immunity to Continental Airlines for its planned participation in the Star Alliance, allowing Continental to coordinate international air services with other Star Alliance members without being subject to antitrust liability. The Star Alliance is a joint venture that includes over 20 member airlines. The Star ATI Alliance is a nine-member antitrust-immune subset of the Star Alliance. Continental is expected to join the Star Alliance and become the newest Star ATI member on October 24, 2009, when its current agreement with rival SkyTeam Alliance expires. The DOT also approved a new international joint venture between Star ATI members Continental, Air Canada, Deutsche Lufthansa Airlines and United Air Lines to be called Atlantic Plus-Plus, or A++. A++ members will be able to jointly arrange capacity, sales and marketing and share revenue on a portion of their international air services, also without being subject to antitrust liability.

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