Gulf Air President and CEO, Samer Majali, stated the carrier is actively seeking to join an airline alliance and is in discussion with the main alliances. "Yes, we are actively looking to join an alliance. Joining an alliance provides Gulf Air an immediate virtual extension to the member airlines' vast network and vice-versa. We are continuing our discussions with the major alliances and we hope to arrive at a decision in the near future" (Manama/Trade Arabia, 06-Sep-2010). Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Gulf Air is one of 12 carriers targeted for takeover by British Airways/Iberia.
Gulf Air to decide on alliance membership in 'near future'
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oneworld has always been a flexible congregation of bilateral relationships, but nowhere has this been better exemplified than with Qatar Airways' membership of oneworld and eg Qantas' deep partnership with Emirates. The BA-QR JV is the first between a European airline and a Gulf airline. Compared to AF-KLM and Lufthansa, BA/IAG have been more open towards Gulf airlines, a result of management but also pragmatism: BA's hub at London Heathrow is capacity constrained and BA typically carries a majority of O&D passengers.
Philippine Airlines may cut Middle East capacity and network, and end Etihad partnership
Philippine Airlines (PAL) is considering reducing capacity to the Middle East in 2017 while expanding in several other international markets, including Australia, China and the US. Yields in all seven of the group’s Middle East markets – all of which have been launched over the last three years – have been impacted by intensifying competition and weaker outbound demand.
PAL could suspend services to Abu Dhabi and terminate its partnership with Etihad. The airline group has not benefitted significantly from its Etihad codeshare, and may be better off partnering with another airline.
However, PAL is keen to continue growing its international operation. PAL is about to add capacity to the US using two additional 777-300ERs, and plans to add capacity to Australia in late 2017 following delivery of its first batch of A321neoLRs. New destinations in Europe and the US are under consideration for 2018, using its new A350-900 fleet.