I like to remain objective on these sort of things and I find it hard to believe that this isn't true. For those who were paying attention, DanDantes also started an airline in DOTM about 5 years in out of LHR where there were zero slots. The airline with the highest CV in DOTM currently is one of the Elite alliance managers. I remember wondering what the heck Dan was doing as he is a strong player and wouldn't make a rookie mistake of basing at an airport like LHR late in the game that had zero slots available at the time. Anyways, it was short lived as I presume he was running the same scheme trying to pick up slots for the alliance, but I'm guessing that slots at LHR that late in the game cost more than the startup cash and he didn't get very far. The DOTM game logs would be able to refute or confirm this, which of course only sami has access to.
I don't like to cast stones, but Elite bills themselves as the best alliance winning 10 straight game worlds, blah blah blah. You don't "win" 10 times in a row on accident and make rookie mistakes like this, especially if you are a seasoned player such as DanDantes. The coincidences are really adding up and instead of being an alliance of "airlines working in loose cooperation" it appears, on the surface at least, that there are multiple airlines working in collusion to use anti-competitive strategies.
On a positive note, the implementation of terminals in the future would eliminate the possibility of this even happening in future game worlds.