Aer Lingus has moved a step closer to joining the existing transatlantic joint venture with American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

The carriers have submitted a joint motion to the US Department of Transportation, in which they “respectfully request that the Department amend DOT Order 2010-7-8 to extend its approval and grant of antitrust immunity (“ATI”) to Aer Lingus and an Amended Joint Business Agreement”.

The joint venture began in 2010 with AA, BA and Iberia, before Finnair joined in 2013.

The motion, filed on December 21, states that “As the Department predicted, the Existing JBA has been a tremendous success for consumers, byconnecting more transatlantic passengers to more destinations in North America and Europe and accelerating growth in new routes, flights, and seats, all while improving quality of service, lowering fares, and intensifying competition for transatlantic travel”.

It continues that the joint business arrangement will generate “up to $96 million in annual consumer benefits”, by:

  • Increasing connectivity through new codeshare flying, resulting in 214 additional codeshare segments (72 new unique codeshare destinations) for Aer Lingus in North America, and 47 additional codeshare segments (12 new unique codeshare destinations) for American beyond Dublin
  • Expanding Aer Lingus’ value-carrier service by unlocking new connections and introducing new routes to North America
  • Enhancing the joint business network by integrating Aer Lingus’ geographically convenient Dublin hub with the JBA carriers’ networks, facilitating new and more convenient connectivity between the United States and Europe
  • Lowering fares by eliminating double marginalization and integrating revenue and yield management systems to increase the availability of lower-fare seats
  • Stimulating new demand by up to 16,800 passengers per year
  • Facilitating a cargo joint business that will allow for more efficient and competitive cargo operations

Aer Lingus is set to unveil a refreshed brand identity in January, which CEO Stephen Kavanagh said would “reflect the airline’s modern outlook and ambition to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic”.

The motion can be read in full here.