Air Transport World

Major alliances & problems

Step back from all this alliance action and get a view of an industry imploding, collapsing upon itself in an assortment of near mergers and alliances. That's on one side of the picture. On the other side, the forces of opposition are gathering; forces that not only are predisposed to fight further consolidation but also want to diminish airlines' existing competitive power.

The U.S. government precipitated the alliance movement by making an antitrust exemption the quid pro quo for nations willing to sign up for open skies. The program was successful in building momentum for the open-skies campaign and spawning the systems envisioned as the providers of competition in an open-skies, system vs. system regime.

The dynamism of the Northwest/KLM antitrust-blessed coupling and its ability to create a formidable force out of two medium-sized airlines registered with everyone. …

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