Thursday, May 28, 2009

Star Alliance dumps Adria and Croatia

Star Alliance ends regional membership
The world’s largest airline alliance system, Star Alliance, will get rid of its regional membership scheme whose members are both Slovenia’s Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines. The group plans to present an updated corporate governance on the sidelines of the IATA annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur next month and the step is expected to be formally announced there in addition to other changes. Croatia Airlines, Blue 1 (Finland) and Adria Airways are currently the only regional members. Their status is more restricted than that of a full member. None of the three airlines have been invited to join the main alliance system. However, the principle of unanimous voting for new members will no longer be applied, which could clear the way for smaller carriers such as Croatia, Blue 1 and Adria to become full members.

Star formally invited Greek carrier Aegean to join the alliance as a full member today. The airline is expected to finally join the largest alliance in mid 2010. Aegean will bring nine new destinations to the alliance network plus a sizeable domestic network that Star Alliance so far has not had access to. Its principle competitor, Olympic, is not yet aligned with any of the other groups. Star officials point out that Lufthansa's proposal to add Aegean was quickly adopted. Turkish Airlines, geographically the nearest member, did not object to the plans either. Lufthansa was the sponsor of both Adria’s and Croatia Airlines’ membership in Star.

The airlines expected to join the alliance this year are Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM Airlines. Next year, besides Aegean, Air India will also join the alliance. Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines become regional Star Alliance members in 2004. Their fate in the alliance will officially be announced next month.

4 comments:

  1. I know some peoples' immediate reactions will be "Oh my goodness, this is terrible."

    But I have a feeling that OU and Adria have just been freed from prison. Now they have FAR less restrictions if any on what routes they fly. LH and other Star Alliance members could potentially have less influence on greedily forcing croatian and slovenian travellers to transfer through Munich or Frankfurt, and perhaps these two airlines will eventually fly out of the continent more often, perhaps to destinations in the near east or in North Africa, etc etc. It would be an ingenious move IMHO for OU to fly ZAG-DXB-ZAG nonstop with their A319s.

    Still quite far fetched to speculate that OU could fly to America now, although now this is slightly more possible in potential terms.

    Other thoughts?

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  2. The regional carriers will actually be promoted to full partners: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/05/28/327059/star-alliance-to-absorb-regional-partners-as-full-members.html

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  3. Bravo i tocno, idk!

    OU and JP have just been released from the terrible grip of subserving LH's insatiable thirst of takeover in Central Europe. A3 should have only been allowed as a regional member if the level had been continued: they serve a domestic and intra-european market (not dissimilar to how the two ex-YU companies presently operate).

    Both airlines would have some advantage also looking at other alliances: JP could thrive as a oneworld member especially given Malev's alarming decline, and OU could fit quite well in Skyteam boosting Tarom and ČSA's presence in central/eastern europe.

    The big question remains as to how JP and OU open up their markets as full members. JP must finish it's approach to connect to every EU city and then beef up frequencies with more small jets to make themselves viable, and OU must really be more daring trying their hand at more charter and leisure destinations and aiming to double fleet size (from 10 to 20) in the next decade - mainly with Qs and 319s.

    Devil's advocate to finish: in what way could becoming full members allow LH to finally buy a stake (and possibly take over) in JP or OU, as they have done with LX, SN and now OS? Is there a hidden agenda??

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  4. As from passenger perspective: Star Alliance network, services and hubs (especially European core members and hubs) are all way above the two other alliances standards. Connecting at CDG or FCO for example is a total nightmare, on the other hand MUC, FRA or ZHR are well organized and connection is smooth. I cannot imagine traveling from LJU for example using Sky Team or One Word hubs. So, I am more than happy to be forced (as idk said) to transfer via MUC or FRA and would switch to the airports like TRS or KLA if I wouldn't be forced to use them from LJU anymore.
    And when we are discussing ex-YU airlines, let's be realistic: they are all nothing but small regional players - like it or not depending on big players in global airline industry.

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