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Encyclopedia > Airline alliance

An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate for the foreseeable future on a substantial level. The degree of cooperation differs between alliances. The three largest alliances are the Star Alliance, SkyTeam and OneWorld. A more recent development is the formation of alliances between cargo airlines, such as that of WOW Alliance between Lufthansa Cargo, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SAS Cargo Group and Japan Airlines Cargo. Alliances provide a network of connectivity and convience for international passengers. An Airbus A380 of Emirates Airline An airline provides air transport services for passengers or freight. ... The Star Alliance, launched on May 14, 1997, is the oldest, largest and most awarded airline alliance in the world, with the following points of cooperation among its partner airlines: Frequent flyer program integration allows airline miles to be earned and redeemed on all members of the Alliance at the... SkyTeam is the second largest airline alliance in the world — behind Star Alliance — partnering ten carriers from three continents, with six pending members. ... For other uses, see Oneworld (disambiguation). ... FedEx DC-10 Cargo airlines (or airfreight carriers, and derivatives of these names) are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. ... WOW Cargo Alliance is an global cargo alliance between Lufthansa Cargo, SAS Cargo, SIA Cargo and JAL Cargo. ... Lufthansa Cargo is a cargo airline based in Frankfurt, Germany. ... Singapore Airlines Cargo (SIA Cargo), the fully owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and incorporated in 1 July 2001, is the worlds third biggest cargo airline in terms of international freight tonne kilometres (FTK). ... SAS Cargo Group Is SAS Scandinavian Airliness cargo carrier. ... Japan Airlines Corporation ) (TYO: 9205 ), or JAL, is the largest airline operator in Asia. ...

Contents

Benefits and costs

Benefits can consist of:

  • An extended and optimised network: This is often realised through code sharing agreements. Many alliances started as only a code sharing network.
  • Cost reduction: This can include sharing of
    • Sales offices
    • Maintenance facilities
    • Operational facilities, e.g. catering or computer systems.
    • Operational staff, e.g. ground handling personnel, at check-in and boarding desks.
    • Investments and purchases, e.g. in order to negotiate extra volume discounts.
  • Traveler benefits: Benefits for the traveler can be:
    • Lower prices due to lowered operational costs for a given route.
    • More departure times to choose from on a given route.
    • More destinations within easy reach.
    • Shorter travel times as a result of optimised transfers.
    • Faster mileage rewards by earning miles for a single account on several different carriers.
    • Round-the-world tickets, enabling travelers to fly over the world for a relatively low price.

Airline alliances may also create disadvantages for the traveler, such as: Code sharing is a business term which first originated in the airline industry. ... An example of traveling the world using a RTW ticket. ...

  • Higher prices when all competition is erased on a certain route.
  • Less frequent flights, for instance when two airlines fly each three times a day on a given route, the alliance might fly only four times on the same route.

Hurdles to Overcome

The abilities for airlines to form an alliance are often restricted by laws and regulations or subject to approval by authorities. Antitrust laws play a large role. Sometimes political quid pro quo between governments is at hand. This article is about anti-competitive business behavior. ...


Also landing rights may not be owned by the airlines themselves but by the nation in which their head office resides. If an airline loses its national identity by merging to a large extent with a foreign company, existing agreements may be declared void by a country which objects to the merger.


The first known airline alliance started in the 1930s, when Pan American Grace Airways and parent company Pan American World Airways agreed to exchange routes to Latin America. The first large alliance which is still functioning started in 1989, when Northwest and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines agreed to code sharing on a large scale. A huge step was taken in 1992 when The Netherlands signed the first open skies agreement with the United States, in spite of objections uttered by the European Union authorities. This gave both countries unrestricted landing rights on each others' soil. Normally landing rights are granted for a fixed number of flights per week to a fixed destination. Each adjustment takes a lot of negotiating, often between governments rather than between the companies involved. The United States was so pleased with the independent position that the Dutch took versus the E.U. that it granted anti-trust immunity to the alliance between Northwest and KLM. Other alliances would struggle for years to overcome transnational barriers or still do so. Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... The Open Skies system is an integrated web-enabled reservation and inventory system suite that includes Internet, call center, airport departure control functionality and more. ...


Global players

The three largest alliances are:

Star Alliance oneworld SkyTeam
Passengers per year¹ 413 million 319.7 million 372.9 million
Destinations¹ 855 692 728
Market share² 25.1% 14.9% 20.8%
Participants¹ Adria Airways (JP)
Air Canada (AC)
Air New Zealand (NZ)
ANA (NH)
Asiana Airlines (OZ)
Austrian Airlines (OS)
Blue1 (KF)
bmi (BD)
Croatia Airlines (OU)
LOT Polish Airlines (LO)
Lufthansa (LH)
SAS (SK)
Singapore Airlines (SQ)
South African Airways (SA)
Spanair (JK)
Swiss International Air Lines (LX)
TAP Portugal (TP)
Thai Airways International (TG)
Turkish Airlines (TK)
United (UA)
US Airways (US)
American Airlines (AA)
British Airways (BA)
Cathay Pacific (CX)
Finnair (AY)
Iberia (IB)
Japan Airlines (JL)
LAN (LA)
Malév (MA)
Qantas (QF)
Royal Jordanian (RJ)
Aeroflot (SU)
Aeroméxico (AM)
Air France (AF)
Alitalia (AZ)
Continental (CO)
Czech Airlines (OK)
Delta (DL)
KLM (KL)
Korean Air (KE)
Northwest (NW)
Network strengths¹ US and Canada (AC, UA, US)
Mexico and Central America (AC, UA, US)
Caribbean (AC, US)
-
Continental Europe (BD, LH, TP, JK, LX, OS, SK, KF)
Eastern Europe (LO, JP, OU)
-
Middle East (LH, LX, OS)
Africa (LH, SA)
Asia (SQ, TG, NH, OZ, UA)
Australia and New Zealand (NZ)
Pacific Islands (NZ)
US and Canada (AA)
Mexico and Central America (AA, IB)
Caribbean (AA, LA)
South America (LA, IB, AA)
Continental Europe (BA, AY, IB, MA)
Eastern Europe (MA)
-
Middle East (RJ)
Africa (BA)
Asia (CX, JL)
Australia and New Zealand (QF)
Pacific Islands (QF, LA)
US and Canada (DL, CO, NW)
Mexico and Central America (AM, CO, DL)
Caribbean (DL, CO)
South America³ (Copa, CO, DL)
Western Europe (AF, KL, AZ, SU)
Central and Eastern Europe (OK, AZ, SU)
Russia/GUS (SU)
Middle East (AF, AZ)
Africa (AF)
Asia (KE, NW)
-
Pacific Islands (CO)
Network weaknesses¹ South America, Russia Russia
Australia and New Zealand
External link staralliance.com oneworld.com skyteam.com

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Star Alliance, launched on May 14, 1997, is the oldest, largest and most awarded airline alliance in the world, with the following points of cooperation among its partner airlines: Frequent flyer program integration allows airline miles to be earned and redeemed on all members of the Alliance at the... Image File history File links Oneworld. ... For other uses, see Oneworld (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1885x543, 87 KB) Summary SkyTeam Logo Source: SkyTeam Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... SkyTeam is the second largest airline alliance in the world — behind Star Alliance — partnering ten carriers from three continents, with six pending members. ... Adria Airways is an airline based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. ... Air Canada is Canadas largest airline and flag carrier. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... All Nippon Airways Company, Limited , TYO: 9202 , LSE: ANA), also known as ZennikkÅ« ) or ANA, is an airline headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. ... // Asiana Airlines (아시아나 í•­ê³µ Asiana Hanggong KOSDAQ: 020560) (Formerly Seoul Airlines) is an airline based in Seoul, South Korea and is one of South Koreas two major airlines, along with Korean Air. ... Austrian Airlines AG is the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered in Vienna. ... Blue1 is an airline based in Helsinki, Finland. ... bmi is a scheduled airline based in the United Kingdom. ... Croatia Airlines Airbus A319-100 near a Nippon Cargo Airways 747, at Amsterdam (Schiphol) Airport, the Netherlands. ... LOT Polish Airlines (Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT) is the national airline of Poland based in Warsaw. ... The Luftansa headquarters in Cologne, Germany. ... Scandinavian Airlines System or SAS is a multi-national airline for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the leading carrier in the Scandinavian countries, based in Stockholm, Sweden and owned by SAS AB. It is a founding member of the Star Alliance. ... Singapore Airlines Limited (Abbreviation: SIA; Chinese: ; pinyin: , abbreviated 新航; Malay: ; Tamil: ) (SGX: S55) is the national airline of Singapore. ... South African Airways (SAA) is South Africas largest domestic and international airline company, with hubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg. ... Spanair S.A. (IATA: JK, ICAO: JKK, and Callsign: Spanair), is an airline based in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. ... Swiss International Air Lines (short: Swiss) is the principal airline of Switzerland operating scheduled services in Europe and to North America, South America, Africa and Asia. ... Boeing 727 with classic livery 1950s-1980 Airbus A321-200 with former livery 1980-2005 Airbus A321-200 Airbus A320-200 taking off A319 in Faro, Algarve. ... Headquarters Thai Airways International (Thai: ) is the national air carrier of Thailand, operating out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, and is a founding member of the Star Alliance network. ... Turkish Airlines (Turkish Türk Hava Yolları) (THY) is the national airline of Turkey based in Istanbul. ... United Airlines, also known as United Air Lines, Inc. ... US Airways is an American low-cost airline[1] headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, owned by US Airways Group, Inc. ... American Airlines, Inc. ... For the 1930s airline of similar name, see British Airways Ltd. ... Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (Cantonese: gwok3 taai3 hong4 hung1 yau5 haan6 gung1 si1; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; abbreviation: 國泰) (SEHK: 0293) is an airline based in Hong Kong, operating scheduled passenger and cargo services to over 104 destinations world-wide. ... Finnair is Finlands largest airline and the flag carrier. ... Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A., (IBEX-35:IBLA) (Iberia Airlines of Spain in English), usually shortened to Iberia, is the largest airline of Spain, based in Madrid. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... LAN Airlines Sociedad Anónima NYSE: LFL (formerly LanChile) is an airline based in Santiago, Chile. ... Malév Hungarian Airlines, (where Malév is an acronym of the Hungarian Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat), is the national airline of Hungary, based in Budapest. ... Qantas (Qantas Airways Limited) (pronounced ) is the name and callsign of the national airline of Australia. ... Royal Jordanian Airlines (Arabic: الملكية الأردنية; transliterated: al-Malakiyah al-Orduniyah) is an airline based in Amman, Jordan, operating scheduled international services over four continents. ... JSC Aeroflot - Russian Airlines (Russian: ) (MICEX:AFLT RTS:AFLT), or Aeroflot (Russian: ) as the airline is commonly known, is the Russian flag carrier and the largest airline in Russia. ... AeroMéxico, is an airline based in Mexico City, Mexico. ... Air France (Compagnie Nationale Air France) is an airline based in Paris, France, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group and is the international flag carrier of France. ... Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane (ISE: IT0003331888) is the national airline of Italy. ... Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) is a US certificated air carrier. ... CSA Czech Airlines (in Czech: ÄŒeské aerolinie (abbreviation: ÄŒSA) is the Czech national airline company, and former national carrier of Czechoslovakia based at RuzynÄ› International Airport, Prague. ... Delta Air Lines, Inc. ... KLM can also refer to KLM (Human Computer Interaction) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (in full: Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, literally Royal Air Transport Company; usual English: Royal Dutch Airlines) is an airline subsidiary of Air France-KLM based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ... Korean Air (KSE: 003490) (Korean Air Daehan Hanggong) is the national flag carrier airline of Korea, with its global world headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. ... Northwest Airlines (NYSE: NWA), occasionally known as NWA, is an American airline headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, near Minneapolis-St. ... Copa Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Panama, based in Panama City, Panama. ...

Notes

  1. As of February 2007
  2. As of end of year 2005
  3. In 2005, SkyTeam launched its Associate Program, whereby existing codeshare alliances (such as Continental and Copa) can be integrated into SkyTeam's marketing (shared loyalty programs, etc.) [1]PDF.

Network strengths are continents or regions where listed airlines have one or more hubs or a major presence in several destinations. “PDF” redirects here. ...


Network weaknesses are continents or regions with no hubs and few (if any) flights for any airline in the alliance.


As the table shows, the three alliances combined fly 60.8% of all passengers travelling each year.


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