Did some airlines collude to keep the airfare and their profits up? Did they possibly slow down their growth and try to avoid a prize competition on certain flight routes, which were already operated by competitors?
The Department of Justice started an investigation against unnamed airlines. The government also requested information from some airlines for an antitrust investigation after a series of big mergers since 2008. At this moment there is no official statement about the involved airlines of the collusion investigation. The main carrier at the Charlotte Douglas International. Airport American Airlines, did not answer a request by the Charlotte Business Journal on this topic on July 2, 2015.
The former assistant US-Attorney John Teakell said, a lot of times there is a civil action to obtain fines and monetary penalties in the beginning. Depending on the behavior of the parties a criminal case could not be precluded. But at this point it is too soon to assess the government's evidence or even the possible penalties in this case.
With this news the shares of the major American airlines dropped over night by more than four percent.
We will keep you informed.