Loading

Cathay Pacific won't leave oneworld to join Star Alliance, and China Southern can't join oneworld

The Cathay dilemma is only one part of a complex reaassessment of strategic airline partnership options in North Asia. In 2018 aviation will continue to experience changes, but some adjustments to the much-discussed global alliance shake-ups in greater China may unfold in unexpected ways. For example, conventional wisdom holds that Cathay Pacific will exit oneworld for Star Alliance, while American Airlines' minority stake in China Southern will result in China's – and Asia's – largest airline leaving SkyTeam for oneworld.

It has been argued that Cathay is a better fit for Star. In fact, Cathay is far better suited to oneworld, which facilitates strong commercial relations in Cathay's three largest markets. Star Alliance does not come close to providing the same coverage.

Further, Star – already too big – is unlikely to accept Cathay as a member. And so long as Cathay remains in oneworld, Cathay is likely to prevent China Southern from joining.

But changes are afoot. Global alliances are undergoing challenges, and will be complemented widely by bilateral relationships morphing into complex, multi-jurisdiction partnerships. It is on this platform where China Southern and American Airlines can become closer, and later add Japan Airlines – then perhaps a fourth airline.

This CAPA Premium Analysis article is 2,142 words.

To access CAPA Premium Analysis you need a CAPA Membership

Your window into the latest insights

CAPA employs an industry-leading Analyst team based in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia who offer unique perspectives and independent and accurate commentary of critical industry developments globally. CAPA Members rely on our Analysis to unlock valuable insights and actionable intelligence to keep ahead of the game.

Big picture strategic view

Our Analysts don’t just report the news - they take a big picture strategic view of aviation dynamics, issues and trends and analyse the implications of these developments for you.

Global intelligence

The CAPA Analyst team is based globally to ensure our CAPA Members have access to independent, unique perspectives covering an entire spectrum of daily, worldwide commercial aviation developments.

Customise your Alerts

CAPA Members can use CAPA Alerts to receive daily, weekly or monthly and customised updates on our Analysis.

I'm very impressed by the factual and detailed analysis CAPA is always doing.

- CEO, Airline Member
To learn more, contact us:
Phone: +61 2 9241 3200 | Email: membership@centreforaviation.com