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American Airlines Loses to Low-Cost Carriers in Colombia

In taking seven weekly frequencies from American, the department said the value of additional Miami routes, which American had planned, is "outweighed by the benefits of new competition in the market and expanded service options in the overall U.S.-Colombia market."

American originally sought a court review in January because of a continuing dispute with the department that began when Spirit and Delta asked last year that some of its routes -- unused at the time -- be reallocated. Then Barranquilla, American's intended market, was designated for open skies, meaning route authorities were no longer required to serve it.

As for Charlotte, the department argued the city has less local traffic to Bogota than any other market proposed in the case, and said one-stop service available through Charlotte largely duplicates existing one-stop service on other carriers, even though "we certainly recognize that US Airways' proposal would produce some of the public benefits typically associated with new entry."

In its application, US Airways said the burgeoning Charlotte hub could definitely support Bogota service and noted that, in the past, the department has not viewed local market size "as the only, or the most important, factor in carrier selection proceedings."

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