Air Transport World

The third wave.(strategic airline alliances)(Editorial)

Strategic alliances, the visionaries said, were the key to prospering in a post-IATA world. With the cartel-like industry coordination and integration about to be crushed under the wheel of competition, they could see clearly that smaller, highly integrated efforts between airlines would produce an attractive and efficient product while keeping the level of competition under some degree of control.

Those visionaries were right.

However, what was not fully appreciated in the First Wave of alliances was the disposability of these relationships. Partnership longevity was considered important; time was needed to smooth out the bugs and do more than recover the costs of making the link-up in the first place. Achieving this longevity was considered so important that the First Wave visionaries believed equity ownership to be an essential part of such a deal, to seal the relationship with the bonds of mutual interest. …

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