An airline alliance is an aviation industry arrangement between two or more airlines agreeing to cooperate on a substantial level. Alliances may provide marketing branding to facilitate travelers making inter-airline codeshare connections within countries. This branding may involve unified aircraft liveries of member aircraft.
In 2015, Star Alliance was the largest with 23% of total scheduled traffic in revenue passenger miles (RPMs)/revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), followed by SkyTeam with 20.4% and Oneworld with 17.8%, leaving 38.8% for others. In 2019, by number of passengers, Star Alliance was leading 762 million, followed by SkyTeam (630 million) and Oneworld (535 million).
Benefits can consist of an extended network, often realised through codeshare agreements. Many alliances started as only codeshare networks. Cost reductions come from the 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). Traveller benefits can include 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, a wider range of airport lounges shared with alliance members, fast track access on all alliance members if having frequent flyer status, faster mileage rewards by earning miles for a single account on several different carriers, round-the-world tickets, enabling travellers to fly over the world for a relatively low price.
Airline alliances may also create disadvantages for the traveller, such as higher prices when competition is erased on a certain route or less frequent flights; for instance, if two airlines separately fly three and two times a day respectively on a shared route, their alliance might fly less than 5 (3+2) times a day on the same route. This might be especially true between hub cities for each airline. e.g., flights between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (a Delta Air Lines fortress hub) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (a KLM fortress hub).
The ability of an airline to join an alliance may be restricted by laws and regulations or subject to approval by authorities. Competition law issues must also be considered in some countries.
The first airline alliance was formed in the 1930s, when Panair do Brasil and its parent company Pan American World Airways agreed to exchange routes to Latin America. In 1990, the African Joint Air Services (AJAS) Accord between Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia led to the launch of Alliance Air in 1994, with South African Airways, Air Tanzania, Uganda Airlines and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania as shareholders.[ citation needed ]
The first large alliance began in 1989, when Northwest Airlines and KLM agreed to large-scale codesharing. In 1992, the Netherlands signed the first open skies agreement with the United States, in spite of objections from the European Union, which gave both countries unrestricted landing rights on the other's soil. Normally landing rights are granted for a fixed number of flights per week to a fixed destination. Each adjustment requires negotiations, often between governments rather than between the companies involved. In return, the United States granted antitrust immunity to the alliance between Northwest Airlines and KLM. Other alliances would struggle for years to overcome the transnational barriers and lack of antitrust immunity, and still do so.[ citation needed ]
Star Alliance was founded in 1997, [ citation needed ]which brought competing airlines to form Oneworld in 1999 and SkyTeam in 2000.
In 2007 Tai Tung Alliance was founded. There are three airlines, Korean based City Express, Japan based Super Flyer and Spain based Vacation Line.
In 2010 Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, announced his intention to form a fourth alliance among Virgin branded airlines (Virgin Atlantic; Virgin America; and the Virgin Australia Holdings group of airlines). [ citation needed ] Virgin America was absorbed into Alaska Airlines, which joined the Oneworld alliance in 2021.Then in September 2011, Branson said that Virgin Atlantic would join one of the existing alliances; this idea was repeated in October 2012. In December 2012, Delta Air Lines purchased Singapore Airlines' 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for £224 million.
On February 14, 2013, it was announced that American Airlines and US Airways would merge, retaining the American Airlines name and would remain in the Oneworld alliance. US Airways' participation in Star Alliance lapsed. In 2012, in South America, LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines began their merger. In March 2014, with the merger complete, TAM left Star Alliance and became part of LAN in Oneworld.[ citation needed ]
On September 21, 2015, the Vanilla Alliance was formed between several airlines based in the Indian Ocean region, in order to improve air connectivity within the region. The founding members are Air Austral, Air Mauritius, Air Madagascar, Air Seychelles, and Int'Air Îles.[ citation needed ]
On January 18, 2016, the first alliance of low-cost carriers was formed, U-FLY Alliance. The founding members—HK Express, Lucky Air, Urumqi Air, and West Air—are all affiliated with HNA Group, although the alliance is also seeking airlines not within the group.
On May 16, 2016, the world's largest alliance of low-cost carriers was formed, Value Alliance. The founding members were Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, Jeju Air, Nok Air, NokScoot, Scoot Airlines, Tigerair, Tigerair Australia, and Vanilla Air.
Star Alliance, founded in 1997, currently has 26 members:
Air Canada, founder
Air China, 2007
Air India, 2014
Air New Zealand, 1999
All Nippon Airways, 1999
Asiana Airlines, 2003
Austrian Airlines, 2000
Brussels Airlines, 2009
Copa Airlines, 2012
Croatia Airlines, 2004
Ethiopian Airlines, 2011
EVA Air, 2013
LOT Polish Airlines, 2003
Scandinavian Airlines, founder
Shenzhen Airlines, 2012
Singapore Airlines, 2000
South African Airways, 2006
Swiss International Air Lines, 2006
TAP Air Portugal, 2005
Thai Airways International, founder
Turkish Airlines, 2008
Oneworld, founded in 1999, currently has 14 members:
American Airlines, founder
British Airways, founder
Cathay Pacific, founder
Iberia Airlines, 1999
Japan Airlines, 2007
Malaysia Airlines, 2013
Qatar Airways, 2013
Royal Air Maroc, 2020
Royal Jordanian, 2007
S7 Airlines, 2010
Oneworld Transatlantic Joint Venture members
SkyTeam, founded in 2000, currently has 19 members:
Aerolíneas Argentinas, 2012
Air Europa, 2007
Air France, founder
China Airlines, 2011
China Eastern Airlines, 2011
Czech Airlines, 2001
Delta Air Lines, founder
Garuda Indonesia, 2014
Kenya Airways, 2007
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 2004
Korean Air, founder
Middle East Airlines, 2012
Vietnam Airlines, 2010
Vanilla Alliance, founded in 2015, currently has 5 members:
U-FLY Alliance, founded in 2016, currently has 5 members:
Value Alliance, founded in 2016, currently has 5 members:
|Star Alliance||26||642.1 Mn||195||1,360||5,000||432,603||179.05 Bn||19,000||1536 Bn||23%|
|SkyTeam||19||665.4 Mn||175||1,062||3,937||481,691||140.98 Bn||17,343||1362 Bn||20.4%|
|Oneworld||13||557.4 Mn||161||1,016||3,560||382,913||130.92 Bn||13,814||1189 Bn||17.8%|
|Value Alliance||7||180 Mn||30||183||554||-||-||400||107 Bn||1,6%|
|U-FLY Alliance||8||200 Mn||18||149||593||-||-||420||40 Bn||0,6%|
|Vanilla Alliance||5||2.3 Mn||26||89||46||-||-||-||-|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Airline alliances .|
Virgin Atlantic, a trading name of Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and Virgin Atlantic International Limited, is a British airline with its head office in Crawley, England. The airline was established in 1984 as British Atlantic Airways, and was originally planned by its co-founders Randolph Fields and Alan Hellary to fly between London and the Falkland Islands. Soon after changing the name to Virgin Atlantic Airways, Fields sold his shares in the company after disagreements with Sir Richard Branson over the management of the company. The maiden flight from Gatwick Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport took place on 22 June 1984.
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., also known as JAL (Jaru) or Nikkō (日航), is an international airline and Japan's flag carrier, headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport, as well as Osaka's Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport. JAL group companies include Japan Airlines, J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, Japan Transocean Air, and Ryukyu Air Commuter for domestic feeder services, and JAL Cargo for cargo and mail services.
Star Alliance is the world's largest global airline alliance. Founded on 14 May 1997, its current CEO is Jeffrey Goh and its headquarters is located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. As of April 2018, Star Alliance is the largest of the three global alliances by passenger count with 762.27 million, ahead of both SkyTeam (630 million) and Oneworld (528 million). Its slogan is "The Way the Earth Connects".
Oneworld is an airline alliance founded on 1 February 1999. The alliance's stated objective is to be the first choice airline alliance for the world's frequent international travellers. Its central alliance office is in New York City and includes 14 member airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines as well as Fiji Airways as a Oneworld Connect partner.
SkyTeam is one of the world's three major airline alliances. Founded in June 2000, SkyTeam was the last of the three alliances to be formed, the first two being Star Alliance and Oneworld, respectively. Its annual passenger count is 630 million (2019), the second largest of the three major alliances. As of January 2019, SkyTeam consists of 19 carriers from five continents and operates with the slogan "Caring more about you". It also operates a cargo alliance named SkyTeam Cargo, which partners ten carriers, all of them SkyTeam members. Its centralised management team, SkyTeam Central, is based at the World Trade Center Schiphol Airport on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands.
Air France–KLM S.A., also known as Air France–KLM Group, is a Franco-Dutch airline holding company incorporated under French law with its headquarters at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Tremblay-en-France, near Paris. The group has offices in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris, and in Amstelveen, Netherlands. Air France–KLM is the result of the merger in 2004 between Air France and KLM. Both Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam airline alliance. The company's namesake airlines rely on two major hubs, Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol respectively. Air France–KLM Airlines transported 87.3 million passengers in 2014.
Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd, operating as Tigerair, was a budget airline headquartered in Singapore. It operated services to regional destinations in Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, China and India from its main base at Singapore Changi Airport. It was founded as an independent airline in 2003, and was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange under the Tiger Airways Holdings name in 2010. In October 2014, parent company Tiger Airways Holdings became a subsidiary of the SIA Group, who took a 56% ownership stake.
Wings Alliance was the working name of a proposed airline alliance to be anchored by the American carriers Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines of USA with the European flag carriers KLM of the Netherlands and Italy's Alitalia. Although these airlines cooperated with one another through code-sharing and frequent flyer program coordination, no formal association was ever announced. It was rendered superfluous in September 2004 when most of its participants joined the SkyTeam alliance.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited is the holding company that owns and operates Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia International Airlines and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. It previously operated Pacific Blue Airlines, Tigerair Australia and joint-venture airline Polynesian Blue which were absorbed into Virgin Australia in December 2011. Its head office is located in South Bank, Brisbane. After being placed in administration in April 2020, it was purchased by Bain Capital in August 2020.
Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd, operating as Tigerair Australia, was an Australian low-cost airline. Founded by Tiger Airways Holdings, it commenced services in the domestic airline market on 23 November 2007 as Tiger Airways Australia. It later became a subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings. On 25 March 2020, Tigerair suspended all operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following Virgin Australian Holdings going into voluntary administration and later sold, new owner Bain Capital confirmed the brand would be retired.
Tiger Airways Holdings Limited was a Singapore-based holding company for a group of low-cost carriers operating in the Asia-Pacific region. It was formed in 2007 to allow for easier management of the airline subsidiaries, as well as any future expansion, without having to focus on operational issues, leaving those to the airlines themselves. In 2016, Singapore Airlines purchased the company and it was delisted from the Singapore Exchange.
Airlines have proliferated in Africa because, in many countries, road and rail networks are not well developed due to financial issues, terrain, and rainy seasons. Ben R. Guttery, author of Encyclopedia of African Airlines, said "Although most of the carriers have never been large by European or American standards, they have had tremendous impact on the economy and the people." Many larger African airlines are owned partially or completely by national governments. Some African airlines have European airlines as major shareholders, such as KLM that has a 7.8% stake in Kenya Airways and British Airways that has an 18% stake in Comair.
An inflight magazine is a free magazine distributed via the seats of an airplane by an airline company or in an airport lounge.
Mileage Plan is the frequent-flyer program of Alaska Airlines. Members accrue program "miles" by flying Alaska Airlines and partner-operated flights, using co-branded credit cards, and booking vacation and hotel packages, among other methods. Mileage Plan miles can be redeemed for award flights on Alaska Airlines and partner carriers and provide eligibility for elite status with Mileage Plan.
Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd, operating as Scoot, is a Singaporean low-cost airline which is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. It launched flights on 4 June 2012 on medium and long-haul routes from Singapore, predominantly to Australia, China, and India. Initially, Scoot's fleet consisted of Boeing 777 aircraft obtained from Singapore Airlines. The airline began to transition its fleet to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from 2015. On 25 July 2017, Tigerair was officially merged into Scoot using Tigerair's air operator's certificate (AOC) but retaining the 'Scoot' brand. With the change of AOC, the airline's IATA code was changed from TZ to TR, and its ICAO code was changed from SCO to TGW, previously used by Tigerair. Its head office is at Singapore Changi Airport.
The Vanilla Alliance is an airline alliance formed in September 2015. The alliance is the 4th largest in the world as of 2018, trailing Oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam. All of the airlines within the alliance operate in the Indian Ocean region, and all are based in either sovereign states that are members of the Indian Ocean Commission or overseas French territories based in the Indian Ocean.
Value Alliance is an airline alliance formed in May 2016. It is the world's second alliance to consist only of low-cost carriers (LCCs). However, it is the first pan-regional LCC alliance. It comprises five Asia-Pacific airlines: Cebu Pacific, Cebgo, Jeju Air, Nok Air and Scoot.