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U.S. gives final OK for Aer Lingus to join transatlantic joint venture

WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Irish airline Aer Lingus received final U.S. approval on Monday to join a transatlantic joint venture with other major airlines.

The U.S. Transportation Department in November granted tentative approval for Aer Lingus to join the venture consisting of American Airlines, British Airways, OpenSkies, Iberia, and Finnair.

The announcement will give the joint venture control of more than half of the U.S.-Ireland passenger flight market. The approval will integrate Aer Lingus into the venture's network planning, pricing and sales. (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese)