The United States Department of Transportation (DoT) granted the final approval for Ireland’s flag-carrier Aer Lingus to join oneworld transatlantic joint venture on December 21, 2020. Other members of the alliance include American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), Finnair and other International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG) subsidiaries British Airways, Iberia and OpenSkies (which operates under LEVEL brand).

Aer Lingus addition would give the transatlantic joint venture control of more than half of the US – Ireland passenger flight market. The Irish airline had 44% of the US – Ireland flight market prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. After Aer Lingus joins the business partnership the figure would grow to 60%, DoT expects. 

“With Aer Lingus’ addition, the carriers are expected to expand capacity on some existing routes while introducing services on several new routes, allowing more options for travel to and from Ireland and the rest of Europe,” according to the DoT statement.

In January 2015, the parent company of British Airways, International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG) acquired Aer Lingus. In 2018, IAG requested to allow Aer Lingus to enter the oneworld transatlantic joint venture.

Oneworld alliance’s Atlantic Joint Business Agreement (AJBA)

The oneworld transatlantic joint venture, also known as the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement (AJBA), which was initially agreed among oneworld alliance’s members American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), British Airways and Iberia, commenced in July 2010.

The oneworld transatlantic joint venture aims to implement stronger competition across the transatlantic sector and frees oneworld alliance to compete with the other global alliances.  

Currently, the oneworld transatlantic joint business venture includes American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), Finnair and International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG) subsidiaries British Airways, Iberia, and Open Skies (LEVEL).