American Airlines and British Airways today announced a significant expansion of their transatlantic codeshare partnership, bringing the allies closer together in their competition against the SkyTeam and Star alliances.
Specifically, American applied its code to another 48 British Airways destinations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. American also codeshares on British Airways' New York-Manchester route. Overall, American's code now appears on 59 British Airways routes, including various routes from both London Gatwick and London Heathrow. British Airways, meanwhile, added its code to 26 additional American routes in the United States and Latin America, bringing the total to 90. The new codeshare services already are available for sale for flights as of Feb. 18.
The partners first launched codeshare cooperation last autumn, following a seven-year effort to gain regulatory approval for a transatlantic alliance (BTN, Sept. 22, 2003)
. "We waited a very long time and we are very excited," said AA president and CEO Gerard Arpey last month. "The traffic results we have seen thus far are very encouraging."