US 'blocks Air Serbia-Etihad codeshare move'
Dubai, January 27, 2014
A proposal by Air Serbia to codeshare on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to New York, Chicago and Washington DC has been blocked by the US Department of Transport, said a report.
US carriers led by the Airlines for America, a lobbying group, had petitioned the department against the Air Serbia proposal, reported the Gulf News.
Under this arrangement, Air Serbia would have connected services to Belgrade.
However, the US carriers argued that the proposal was impractical for the consumer with the Belgrade to New York via Abu Dhabi route adding more than 8,000 kilometres to the round trip, said the report.
Aviation analysts Centre for Aviation (Capa), Delta argued that it was highly unlikely that a rational consumer would seek out itineraries via Abu Dhabi "unless fares were artificially low."
The US move comes in the same week Etihad had announced an agreement to codeshare to over 40 US destinations with American airline JetBlue, the report added.