In The End, This Bird Won't Fly

British Air withdraws its controversial plan for a transatlantic partnership

HAD THE DEAL GONE THROUGH, AIR TRAVELERS could have flown from St. Louis to Nairobi with a single check-in and minimal airport delays. But British Airways withdrew its plan to invest $750 million in struggling USAir after U.S. Transportation Secretary Andrew Card vowed to reject the arrangement. Card balked at the partnership, which would have plugged USAir flights into British Airways' globe-spanning route map, after Britain refused to give U.S. carriers expanded use of London's Heathrow Airport.

The collapse of the deal marked a victory of sorts for American, United and Delta airlines. The Big Three charged that the arrangement would...

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