Resolved on tapping the booming Central Asian market, global alliances SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance have approached Kazakhstan national carrier Air Astana with offers to join their ranks. In response, the airline recently commissioned U.S.-based Seabury Group to prepare a report on whether it should enter an alliance “and which one, because all alliances want us to join them,” Air Astana president Peter Foster told AIN in Astana recently.
SkyTeam reports solid progress in Garuda Indonesia’s preparations to join the alliance in March next year, when it expects the Manila-based airline to become the only Indonesian carrier affiliated with a major international grouping. Garuda’s enrollment would make it the 20th SkyTeam member and the tenth from Asia.
The European Commission approved the proposed merger of US Airways Group and American Airlines parent company AMR Corporation on Tuesday, eliminating one hurdle to the companies’ plan to create the world’s largest airline.
In seeking to consummate its proposed strategic alliance with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to head off the challenge posed by the formidable pairing of British Airways and American Airlines. So who did Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson recruit to succeed retiring CEO Steve Ridgway? Why, naturally, a senior American Airlines executive in the shape of senior vice president for customers Craig Kreeger, who assumes his new role from February 1.
The outspoken chief executive of Qatar Airways, an increasingly influential player in the world airline market, blamed the long-running battle over airline participation in Europe’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the former leader of the association that represents world airlines.
The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) and Business Travel Coalition (BTC) last week publicly released a jointly produced white paper sent to the U.S. Department of Justice that explains their opposition to the merger between US Airways and American Airlines. The 28-page report concludes that such a merger could substantially reduce competition on a number of routes, create regional strongholds at key airports across the country and starve smaller communities of air service vital to their business interests.
Chile’s LAN Airlines S.A. and TAM S.A. of Brazil continue preparations for their planned merger to create Latin America’s leading operator and one of the world’s largest airlines, while at the same time appealing conditions imposed by Chile’s antitrust court.
Developments planned by Australia’s Qantas Airways and American Airlines demonstrate membership benefits for global alliance partners seeking to rationalize operations while improving competitiveness. The operators belong to Oneworld, whose members include British Airways (BA), Chile’s LAN, Iberia, and Japan Airlines (JAL), with Malaysia Airlines waiting in the wings.
Airlines are starting to count the financial cost of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated large areas of northeastern Japan on March 11. The International Air Transport Association has warned of a “major slowdown” for airlines operating in the Japanese market and says that this is unlikely to recover before the second half of 2011.
Bombardier Flexjet and Korean Air formed a marketing alliance dubbed Flexjet Connect. As part of the partnership, Flexjet fractional owners will receive incentives to purchase first-class tickets on Korean Air when traveling between the Americas and East Asia and other benefits, including elite status for one year. Korean Air passengers participating in the program have guaranteed access to more than 5,000 U.S.
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