Issue 36 now available!

Global alliances as the airline system metamorphoses: A view to 2025

  • oneworld, in a complex solar system
  • Star Alliance: Inherently (too) rigid
  • SkyTeam overlaps extensively with Etihad partners

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In this issue

Opinion

Extending the boundary of the airline business

I am surprised at the extent and diversity of feedback received on the contents of my last three columns in Airline Leader relating to the need for, and potential areas of, transformation within the global airline industry. Questions raised vary, but relate less to the development of digital strategies and more to their implementation and execution, particularly with respect to the resources needed.

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Analysis

oneworld, in a complex solar system

oneworld is the smallest in size of the three global alliances but advertises itself as highest quality in terms of members and awards received. oneworld has strength in financial centres, is the alliance for the world’s largest airline (American) and with LATAM is a powerhouse in Latin America. It is also the loosest of the three major alliances, often described as more of a linked collection of bilateral partnerships.

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Analysis

SkyTeam overlaps extensively with Etihad

The second largest of the three alliances overall, but the largest by domestic seats, SkyTeam has a particular strength in Northeast Asia and is the only one of the three alliances to include a cargo alliance. Its North Atlantic joint venture is to some extent complemented by SkyTeam member Delta’s JV with Virgin Atlantic.

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Analysis

Star Alliance: inherently (too) rigid

The largest of the three global alliances, Star Alliance, is the market leader in Europe and Africa. It is also the largest alliance in South Asia, but by default as it is the only alliance with an Indian member.

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