The United States Department of Transportation has granted a tentative approval for Continental Airlines in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to join Star Alliance.
The Saipan Tribune reports the decision means Continental Airlines will join the existing antitrust immunized alliance between United Airlines and eight other Star Alliance member carriers, and for Continental to enter into an integrated worldwide alliance.
The paper quotes Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Kellner saying Continental's entrance into Star Alliance will provide substantial benefits for consumers worldwide while preserving domestic competition and jobs.
It reports Mr Kellner saying the tentative Department of Transportation decision not only benefits consumers, but also ensures global competition with other antitrust immunized alliances.
He says it also encourages the retention and growth of open skies between the U.S. and other nations.