Airlines Seeking to Expand Alliances to Slash Costs

Manila Bulletin, February 28, 2010 | Go to article overview

Airlines Seeking to Expand Alliances to Slash Costs


NEW YORK, Feb. 28 (Reuters) – The days of airline alliances offering little more than code-sharing agreements are gone.Instead, alliances may well be the new mergers.In an era when airlines are losing billions of dollars amid volatile fuel prices and a pullback in spending, every carrier is looking to cut costs and increase scale.Limited by restrictions on mergers with foreign airlines and waiting for someone else to make themove within the United States, US airlines are now seeking to expand their alliances and trying to extend synergies within current partnerships.The three major alliances – Star, SkyTeam and oneworld – are global networks of carriers that allow members to streamline costs while sharing revenue.''I think we are seeing an evolution, seeing these alliances become tighter-knit partnerships,'' AMR Corp. Chief Financial Officer Tom Horton said at the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit earlier this week. AMR is the parent of American Airlines.''They started as loose marketing agreements, for code-sharing, frequent linkages, emergence of global alliance groupings,'' he said. ''We are now seeing those groupings forming tight economic relationships.''American is part of the oneworld alliance, along with 11 other members that include British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Australian carrier Qantas.Evidencing the importance of alliances, American recently ended a fierce battle to keep Japan Airlines in oneworld as Delta Air Lines tried to lure it to SkyTeam.The months-long fight included offers of a billion dollars by each side and intense campaigning in Tokyo and Washington.JAL, despite being in bankruptcy, is valuable because it offers access to the world's second-largest economy and an extensive network in Asia. …

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Airlines Seeking to Expand Alliances to Slash Costs
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