The U.S. government is investigating possible collusion among major airlines to limit available seats, which keeps airfares high, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.
The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.
A letter received Tuesday by major U.S. carriers demands copies of all communications the airlines had with each other, Wall Street analysts and major shareholders about their plans for passenger-carrying capacity, or “the undesirability of your company or any other airline increasing capacity.”
The Justice Department asked each airline for its passenger-carrying capacity both by region, and overall, since January 2010.
Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce confirmed that the department is looking into potential “unlawful coordination” among some airlines. She declined to comment further or say which airlines are being investigated.