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Star Alliance News


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#1 Keith T

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:25 AM

http://economictimes...how/1690827.cms

QUOTE
MUMBAI: After years of being a standalone carrier in the international aviation industry where airlines are rapidly aligning in various groups, Indian flag carrier Air-India is all set to join the Star Alliance. A top-level Star Alliance team, led by the CEO Jaan Albrecht, is currently at the Air-India headquarters in Mumbai for discussions on the modalities of the inclusion.

All of Star’s 18-member airlines have to approve the entry. Air-India’s entry is likely to be championed by Star Alliance founder member Lufthansa, which already has a close relationship with the Indian carrier through codesharing.

Air-India’s inclusion in the grouping underlines the growing potential of the Indian aviation market. Passenger numbers at domestic and international airports grew by 28% in ’05-06, among the highest in the world.

The Star Alliance CEO has earlier said that “India, Russia and China are white spots on the Star alliance network that need to be filled.” Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline grouping, currently runs 16,930 daily flights to 842 airports in 152 countries around the world.

Elaborating on the major benefits of the alliance for Air-India, airline sources said it would lead to a partnership with member airlines on issues ranging from marketing to joint sourcing of spares and fuel, potentially leading to a huge saving of millions of dollars.

Member airlines have an integration of airline frequent flier programmes, which is a major marketing tool for airlines. Miles can be earned and redeemed on all members of the Alliance at the same level.

Premium customers have access to all members’ airport lounges. As the integration among members progress, flight schedules are co-ordinated to permit almost seamless travel which may include several different carriers within the alliance, on a single ticket.

Over the years Air-India’s global network has shrunk such that it is now largely focussed on the Gulf, parts of western Europe and four cities in the United States. The entry into the alliance will allow it to offer a much larger choice to its passengers.

Air-India is also scheduled to begin a huge expansion resulting in the induction of 68 aircraft worth over $11bn over the next six years. The airline’s marketshare that has gone down to about 19% of the Indian overseas passenger market is expected to improve substantially.

“The merged entity formed after the merger of Indian Airlines and Air-India will eventually find place in the alliance that provides the widest airline network in the world today,” a highly placed Air-India source said.

However, the process of integration into the alliance could take up to a year after it is approved. South African Airways was the most recent airline that joined the alliance in April this year. Airlines have to upgrade systems to certain common standards before the entry is permitted.


Proving once again that it's quantity not quality for *A. It's disappointing that *A seems very keen of late to recruit third tier members. Actually, with the inclusion of such illustrious carriers like AI and CA, coupled with existing members like LO, TP and JK - the average quality of *A seems to be dipping below that of ST if not for shining stars like SQ, NZ, LX to drag the average back up. Alliance members or not, AI is one carrier I wouldn't be flying.

Hopefully 9W joins OW but they don't seem to keen on alliances.

Edited by Keith T, 15 October 2007 - 11:27 AM.


#2 S V Choong

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:48 PM

To be honest, NZ is not much of a shinning star, probably quite akin to the third tier airlines as listed above. NZ suck.... tongue.gif

#3 Keith T

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE(S V Choong @ Oct 15 2007, 02:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest, NZ is not much of a shinning star, probably quite akin to the third tier airlines as listed above. NZ suck.... tongue.gif


Market research would disagree with you. wink.gif
Their lounges and inflight products are often highly rated by frequent flyers and peer reviews (ie reviews by competitors and other industry partners).
I look forward to checking out NZ Business Premier to PVG. Well actually, I've sampled VS UC so it's the same seat (very comfy!) - but the catering on NZ seems a lot better according to TRs.

Edited by Keith T, 15 October 2007 - 12:52 PM.


#4 S V Choong

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:00 PM

I have taken many trips with NZ, not that I like them but I had no choice. There is always some kind of minor incident whenever I was on their flight, F/As were rude, smiles were so fake. They won't post a letter for you if you don't have a stamp. Only one smooth flight with them so far. I don't really care how market research rate them, personally I wouldn't fly with them anymore if I can have another option. When you compare them with QF, the difference is obvious. QF is a step ahead of NZ, just my personal opinion.

Edited by S V Choong, 15 October 2007 - 01:03 PM.


#5 Keith T

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:16 PM

QUOTE(S V Choong @ Oct 15 2007, 03:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When you compare them with QF, the difference is obvious. QF is a step ahead of NZ, just my personal opinion.


While I'm inclined to go with QF - whenever the QF vs NZ debates come up, the opinions are usually polarised with equal support (and criticisms) of both so on the whole I'd say they're pretty much equal. FWIW NZ has nice flat beds in J and bigger pitch in Y vs sloped beds in J and 2 inches less of pitch in Y on QF. But for me I personally find the food and wine lists on QF to be far more imaginative and of higher quality. I've had great FAs on both airlines, barring one or two bad apples (but I don't know any airline that's totally devoid of these bad applies wink.gif).

Edited by Keith T, 15 October 2007 - 01:16 PM.


#6 S V Choong

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 02:22 PM

QUOTE
I've had great FAs on both airlines, barring one or two bad apples (but I don't know any airline that's totally devoid of these bad applies wink.gif).


Just based on my experience with bad apples, have not had any bad apples with SQ, CX, QF, KA, PR, KE, AK, or MH (although have had some in the 80s and 90s), but NZ.....the F/As are simply quite direct at expressing their emotions and more appearant during the early 90s when Asian immigrants had only begin to arrive en mass (due to their dislikes with Asian?). I can certainly sense the negative vibe when they serve us and the caucasians in front or behind us.

#7 Keith T

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE(S V Choong @ Oct 15 2007, 04:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just based on my experience with bad apples, have not had any bad apples with SQ, CX, QF, KA, PR, KE, AK, or MH (although have had some in the 80s and 90s), but NZ.....the F/As are simply quite direct at expressing their emotions and more appearant during the early 90s when Asian immigrants had only begin to arrive en mass (due to their dislikes with Asian?). I can certainly sense the negative vibe when they serve us and the caucasians in front or behind us.


I've had bad apples with all those airlines listed. Some on a minor level, others on multiple dimensions. I rate FAs' professionalism with a wide range of factors (efficiency, friendliness, poise, grooming, mannerisms etc). My experiences with NZ FAs have demonstrated that they're one of the better airlines out there. Horses for courses. smile.gif

Come to think of it my flights to PVG are crewed by their PVG base which received negative reviews initially (gum chewing, stern looking FAs from the PRC). So hmmmm. Hopefully they've gotten better by now.

Edited by Keith T, 15 October 2007 - 03:32 PM.


#8 S V Choong

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 03:41 PM

QUOTE
Come to think of it my flights to PVG are crewed by their PVG base which received negative reviews initially (gum chewing, stern looking FAs from the PRC). So hmmmm. Hopefully they've gotten better by now.


Hmm, hopefully they have all been disciplined by now.

#9 Pieter C.

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:01 PM

After the ST and OW topics, shouldn't there be a *A topic as well, where news like this can be posted ?

Good move for *A in India...wonder which airlines are alligned with ST and OW ?

#10 Keith T

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE(Pieter C. @ Oct 16 2007, 01:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
After the ST and OW topics, shouldn't there be a *A topic as well, where news like this can be posted ?

Good move for *A in India...wonder which airlines are alligned with ST and OW ?


Whoops I forgot about that. Would you kindly do the honours and rename this thread to 'The Star Alliance news thread'? smile.gif

There are rumours that 9W is going with OW and certainly some of their commercial agreements (eg QF codeshares) seem to point that way, but I'd believe that when i see it as there are also hints that 9W might aim to be independent like the ME carriers and enter into bilateral agreements rather than multilateral alliances.

#11 Keith T

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:59 AM

http://www.starallia...tAir_final.html

QUOTE
Cairo, EGYPT – October 16th, 2007

Strategic Network Expansion specifically in Africa and the Middle East Star Alliance Member Carriers to collocate in the new Terminal 3 in Cairo

Following the successful conclusion of membership talks with EgyptAir, the Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance has voted to accept as a future member, the national airline of Egypt, which in the last five years has undergone a significant transformation process and is now one of the foremost carriers in Africa and the Middle East.

"Egypt is one of the most important aviation markets in Africa, with a large potential for both business and leisure travel. We are proud that EgyptAir, a world class airline, has chosen to join Star Alliance, thereby recognising the importance of alliances in aviation today," commented Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance. "EgyptAir provides an ideal network fit for Star Alliance and will permit many more passengers to experience the alliance's customer benefits especially in markets in which Star Alliance was up to now under represented," Albrecht continued.

"Egypt, the home market of EgyptAir, has a strategic location which offers a good link between Africa, the Middle East and Europe to the rest of the world. The company equally serves the needs of the leisure and the ever-growing business travel market, thereby adding prosperity in tourism and different sectors of the Egyptian economy," said Engineer Atef Abdel Hamid, Chairman and CEO, EgyptAir Holding Company.

"By joining Star Alliance, EgyptAir will offer its customers a wide variety of benefits such as a diversity of destinations, frequency of existing destinations, a wide choice of convenient fares across the globe, frequent flyer advantages on all Star Alliance member carriers and the great facilities the passengers will enjoy at major airports through the Move Under one Roof concept," added Eng. Abdel Hamid.

In order to implement the Star Alliance "Move under one Roof" concept at Cairo Airport, EgyptAir and the Star Alliance member carriers flying to Cairo will move to the new Terminal 3 once it opens in 2008. Talks to this effect are already underway with the airport authorities in order to ensure the creation of another hub with an optimal customer experience.

"EgyptAir's membership in Star Alliance along with the strategic location of Cairo Airport will create a hub for the alliance members and a gateway for the Middle East and North Africa", commented Engineer Atef.

With the integration process now underway, EgyptAir is set to become a full Star Alliance member carrier within the next 18 months. EgyptAir will add nine additional unique airports into the Star Alliance network, bringing the overall total to more than 17,700* daily flights serving 944* destinations in 161* countries.

* Figures are based on current 17 member carriers and the four carriers set to join soon - Air China, EgyptAir, Shanghai Airlines and Turkish Airlines.


"One of the foremost airlines in Africa and the Middle East"???

#12 Keith T

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:09 PM

http://www.theaustra...2-23349,00.html

QUOTE
Singapore profit soars despite cost hit

John Jannarone, Dow Jones Newswires | November 02, 2007

SINGAPORE Airlines has reported a 73 per cent surge in second-quarter net profit as strong passenger volumes offset the impact of rising fuel costs.

Net profit for the three months to September 30 rose to $S508 million ($370.8 million) from $S293 million a year earlier, the airline said. A Dow Jones Newswires poll of analysts had forecast a net profit of $S448 million.

Revenue rose 9.9 per cent to $S3.97 billion from $S3.61 billion, boosted by a 4.8 per cent rise in passenger traffic.

Operating profit nearly doubled in the second quarter, to $S518.5 million from $S259.4 million a year earlier. The passenger load factor in the second quarter rose to 81.6 per cent from 79.4 per cent.


Despite the strong performance, the airline may be challenged by record high oil prices and uncertain global economic conditions.

"Slower economic growth sparked by tight credit markets and increasing volatility in financial markets cast a cloud of uncertainty over the strong revenue environment," chief executive Chew Choon Seng said.

The cost of fuel would be a "significant variable" for the remainder of the year, he said.

Singapore Airlines had 47 per cent of its fuel costs hedged as of October, and aims to keep protection in place for between 30 and 60 per cent of total exposure.

The total fuel bill for the first half was $US1.26 billion ($1.35 billion), down slightly from $US1.29 billion a year ago. Still, fuel expenses remained high, reflecting 36.5 per cent of total costs during the first half.

Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline Systems enjoy exclusive control over the lucrative route between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but the Malaysian Government said last week it would grant rights to other carriers.

Mr Chew said the loss wouldn't make a major dent, as operations between the two cities generated "much less" than 5 per cent of total profits. "When we advocate liberalisation, we do it without exception," he said, adding that the route was "useful but not material".

Turning to flights beyond Asia, Mr Chew welcomed a recently announced open skies agreement between Singapore and Britain but said immediate benefits would be limited.

He said that routes from Britain to other countries were still restricted and that further liberalisation would be necessary for Singapore Airlines to make headway.

"To benefit from such rights, we would need approval from other countries," he said.

For the six months to Sepember 30, net profit rose to $S932 million from $S868 million a year ago.

First-half revenue was $S7.6 billion compared with $S7 billion in the same period a year earlier.

First-half passenger load factor was 80.3 per cent, compared with 77.5 per cent a year earlier.


#13 Pieter C.

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:11 AM

Five US Airways Crew Fall Ill On Flight

November 6, 2007
Five crew members including two pilots on a US Airways flight from Washington to Boston fell ill on Monday after reporting a smell and were treated by paramedics when they landed, aviation officials said.

The crew and 81 passengers on Flight 2022, Airbus A319 shuttle service, left Washington's Reagan National Airport at 7:30 a.m. EST. The crew then reported a smell in the cockpit, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The plane returned to Washington where they switched to another Airbus jet and proceeded to Boston.

A spokesman for Boston's Logan Airport said the smell on the first plane was possibly smoke or rubber, but the airline said it had not yet confirmed the origin of the problem.

The FAA said the crew did not report any problems to air traffic controllers during the flight but complained of feeling sick when they arrived at Logan at 10:20 a.m. The FAA is investigating whether the sickness was caused by the smell on the first plane.

The nature of their illness was not disclosed. The crew was treated on board by paramedics and then taken to a hospital. No passengers were sick, officials said.

Authorities were investigating the matter, but a US Airways spokeswoman said there was no indication of foul play.

(Reuters)


#14 Keith T

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:22 PM

http://www.russiatod...news/news/17078

QUOTE
Russian Airunion joins Star Alliance
One of Russia’s leading airline groups has been boosted by the inclusion into the global Star Alliance code-sharing network. The Air Union group includes Krasair and Samara airlines.

Another airline GTK Rossiya is also in talks with Star Alliance, along with rival networks SkyTeam and OneWorld.

Experts told Kommersant Daily that foreign firms are keen to forge links with state-backed Russian airlines to limit any problems with the country's aviation authorities.

Lufthansa Cargo is in the midst of airspace dispute with Russia.


#15 Izanee

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:42 PM

SQ is supposed to start SIN-DME-IAH 4x weekly with 77W! bloody hell.


MH is still pissing around pretending they don't need to be in an alliance....relying on codeshares instead. Of all the carriers - MH definitely needs to be in an alliance - to remain profitable and for KUL to become somewhat of a hub in this region.
without it, KUL will continue to lose out in terms of growth - we already are fourth in the region after BKK,SIN and CGK!!

EK doesn't need to join an alliance - MH is not in the same position as them...being a 'primarily leisure' airline - according to our esteemed IJ. This reminds me of the time when MSA split and the Malaysian government decided that we were too small to support international routes - therefore opting to take F27s and 737s to service domestic and some regional routes. On the other hand, SQ decided to take the bull by its horns and continue aggressive international expansion.

Its a matter of choice - IJ has given up and relegated MH to somewhere in between AK and TG. Hence five star with low cost. what a stupid statement.

#16 BC Tam

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:43 AM

I read Air China and Shanghai Airlines set to join the bandwagon

#17 S V Choong

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:51 AM

QUOTE(BC Tam @ Dec 14 2007, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I read Air China and Shanghai Airlines set to join the bandwagon


Yep, saw CA's A330 in SYD with a Star A logo on their fuselage already.

#18 Keith T

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE(BC Tam @ Dec 14 2007, 09:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I read Air China and Shanghai Airlines set to join the bandwagon


They're official members as of yesterday.

#19 KC Sim

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:02 AM

At a media conference in Beijing on 13 December 2007 immediately after the announcement of the alliance's acceptance of Air India's application, Star Alliance's CEO Mr Jaan Albrecht confirmed that it is looking to secure airline members in Russia and South America.

Inspite of persistent media query, he refused to name any of the airlines.

Aeroflot is out of the question . . . it is in Skyteam. That leaves Transaero and Sibir as strong candidates.

For South America, I would hazard my guess on TAM.

KC Sim

#20 Terence Ong

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 07:57 PM

Well, TAM has a high possibility of joining Star Alliance. Its unlikely that Varig will rejoin Star Alliance (they can rejoin within 18 months). AiR Union may join Star Alliance since they have codeshare agreements with LH and OS.




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