Closing Skies

Yearlong negotiations between the U.S. and Britain over a new air-services treaty have turned nasty. The British government is now threatening to reduce flights into London's Heathrow airport by American Airlines Inc. and United Airlines Inc. as of Jan. 12 unless the U.S. gives a one-year approval for British Airways PLC and USAir Inc. to use the same codes on flights departing from 27 American cities. Such code-sharing makes passengers think they're getting a seamless service from the U.S. to European destinations and gives the BA/USAir partnership an edge over its transatlantic competitors. The Transportation Dept. has been willing to grant only a 60-day approval.

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