Korean Air Sales and Marketing Manager for Australia Rafael Despradel confirmed the entrance of China Airlines to the SkyTeam alliance in Sep-2011 (Australian Business Traveller, 11-Aug-2011). This brings the number of SkyTeam alliance members operating in Australia to six, after Korean Air, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Vietnam Airlines. Aerolineas Argentinas and Garuda Indonesia will join the alliance in 2012, with this to increase the number of carriers operating in Australia to eight. SkyTeam is also seeking opportunities to establish shared facilities, similar to what is in place at London Heathrow and Prague Airport.
China Airlines to join SkyTeam next month
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SkyTeam overlaps extensively with Etihad
The second largest of the three alliances overall, but the largest by domestic seats, SkyTeam has a particular strength in Northeast Asia and is the only one of the three alliances to include a cargo alliance. Its North Atlantic joint venture is to some extent complemented by SkyTeam member Delta’s JV with Virgin Atlantic.
Northeast Asian airlines seek India connections to diversify away from SE Asia, China competition
Aviation has yet to define India’s role in the trans-Pacific growth story. Geography allows connections from North America to India via Europe, the Gulf and – more quietly – Northeast Asia. Northeast Asian airlines have a theoretical advantage linking India with the North American west coast. The challenge they face is fitting a square peg into a round hole.
The presence of Northeast Asian airlines is large in North America but small in India, while Southeast Asian airlines are small in North America but large in India. Cathay Pacific, and to a lesser extent All Nippon Airways, are in the strategic sweet spot, relatively. Growing China-India relations could result in Chinese airlines playing a larger role in this market. The different transit regions available mean that there is competition between partnerships and joint ventures. These pressures could grow as the Indian market continues expanding.