United announces 787 routes; Tokyo Narita, Lagos and Shanghai to see 787 service
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Delta-Korean Air joint venture creates trans-Pacific's second largest bloc. Cathay, EVA under threat
The unprecedented aviation market growth between Asia and North America is forcing airlines to re-evaluate their core strategy and reassess who is a competitor and who could be a partner. It seems probable that Delta Air Lines and Korean Air will form a joint venture, potentially making them the second largest trans-Pacific bloc.
The next two largest airlines without a deep partnership, EVA Air and Cathay Pacific, are having to confront significant change, without the support of partners. Delta-Korean Air brings United-ANA its closest rival yet, while the American-JAL JV – already smaller – needs bulking up.
Korean Air brings Delta a wider network in Asia than ANA or JAL offer to their respective JV partners, United and American. A Korean Air-Delta JV could result in more destinations and flights being added once they are able to sell jointly.
United Airlines works to start anew as its rivals work to widen their competitive advantages
The US global network airlines Delta and American regularly receive accolades for the execution of their respective merger integrations. Assessment of the merger between United and Continental has been different, even from the airline’s own executives, who admit the integration was more challenging and took longer than anyone had anticipated.
United is working to adapt to changed pricing structures ushered in by the ULCCs – shifting more of its operations from regional to mainline and ensuring that customers fully understand the attributes of its various product offerings once its version of a basic economy fare debuts later in 2016.
United’s executives are also acknowledging the long standing gap it has in margin performance vis a vis its peers, and stresses its commitment to margin improvement. United in many ways is starting again, attempting to build a new foundation of trust with customers, employees and investors.