Air Transport World

Ephemeral 'alliances.' (airline globalization) (Editorial)

This global vision thing just isn't working. Globalization is happening through carriers' expanding routes and traditional operating and marketing agreements. But it is not happening through limited equity sharing.

The collapse of merger discussions between British Airwasy and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines gives further evidence that far too much of the talk about the inevitability and necessity of "global partnerships" is just that: Talk. In fact, the list of wholly successful partnerships is rather short. Off the record, we can't think of any that have not caused at least as much heartbreak as happiness. And like Alitalia CEO Giovanni Bisignani and AMR Corp. Chairman Robert Crandall, we admit that we do not completely understand what exactly is to be achieved beyond the vague rationales often cited in these ephemeral "alliances. …

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