Four airlines fight back against Gulf rivals

Air France A380

Three Skyteam member airlines are following in Lufthansa’s footsteps* – by next year they intend to inaugurate a JV (joint venture) to better compete against their Gulf rivals Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

Air France, KLM and US carrier Delta will team up with India’s (non-alligned) Jet Airways on multiple routings.

They will be using their hubs at Amsterdam and Paris CDG in Europe along with Atlanta, Minneapolis and New York JFK in the USA.

This mammoth JV has still to be formally approved. It will, according to Air France, cover routes between India, Europe and both North and South America.  Also between North America, India and Africa also via Europe.

Travellers based in the UK regions may find it more convenient to change in Amsterdam or Paris CDG rather than London Heathrow.

Why these particular routings ?

Because, as Business Traveller has previously reported, the Gulf airlines have captured much of this traffic to the detriment of European aviation.

Air France says the JV represents 25 per cent of total transatlantic capacity with annual revenue of US$12 billion.

Certainly there is little love lost between Delta and the Gulf carriers.  The latter competed fiercely and prompted Delta (along with other US carriers) to exit the Gulf market.

Later Delta took “revenge” by blocking the arrivals gate for Qatar Airways’ inaugural A380 service to Atlanta.

But Jet Airways is 24 per cent owned by Etihad. Why is it agreeing to this JV?

Local media in India is speculating that this is one way in which Jet Airways can expand internationally rather than simply feed passengers to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.

But Jet Airways is wasting no time with its expansion plans.

From the start of the winter timetable (at the end of October):

airfrance.co.uk, delta.com, klm.com, jetairways.com

Skyteam enhances Global Meetings platform

skyteam flight attendants
Skyteam, a global alliance of 20 member airlines, is upgrading its services to meetings and events travel organisers as it reaps a steady increase in business for its Global Meetings product.
Global Meetings will see more user-friendly bookings, readily available information for planners and a dedicated platform for travel organisers.
A new look to the skyteam.biz web page will offer a more easy-to-read table summarising member airlines’ operating services to the chosen destination on the required date of travel with a range of prices so attendees can choose an option that best suits their needs.
There will also be updates to a “benefits at-a-glance” welcome page for attendees including more detailed information about the benefits of booking travel via Global Meetings.
“The take-up of our Global Meetings product has increased 18 per cent year-over-year with a number of high-profile organisations choosing Skyteam as their preferred alliance partner for their international events,” said Edward Hollo, Skyteam’s commercial development manager.
“Our innovative approach means we have developed a product tailored to every aspect of the meetings industry in terms of size, network scope and value,” says Hollo.
Global Meetings was launched in 2013 to serve small and larger-scale events and covers the alliance members 1,062 destinations across Asia, Greater China, North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
For more information, visit skyteam.com
Martin Donovan