Radar – December, 03 2002

Radar – December, 03 2002

Looks like the steadfast Star Alliance is ready to erupt, and one of the founding members is at the epicenter. Discussions between SkyTeam and Thai Airways are heating up. The potential departure of Thai could be caused by conflicts between Asian members of Star … Hilton HHonors has added Alitalia as a reward partner. Effective immediately, HHonors and Alitalia MilleMiglia members will earn 600 miles for every qualifying stay. Alitalia MilleMiglia has also indicated that it will join the SkyTeam alliance by July 15 … Speaking of alliances, Malaysian Airline System is expected to sign up as a member of the Wings Alliance in the very near future. Earlier reports indicated that MAS was looking at three possible alliances: Wings, oneworld and Qualiflyer – if you can call Qualiflyer an alliance. Tension is mounting between Swissair and Sabena, as a Sabena rescue package is thrashed out. Swissair is being taken to the Brussels Commercial Court, where Belgium will ask the group to invest 529 million euros in Sabena throughout next year. Sabena is also considering filing a lawsuit against Swissair. Still in Europe, AOM and Air Liberte, both owned by Swissair, have filed for bankruptcy. Their financial problems have been caused primarily by the French high-speed trains, which have attracted many former air travelers. Five bidders are interested in acquiring all of the airline assets. Qualiflyer is unraveling at the seams … Meanwhile, United has acquired MyPoints, the online exchange program. MyPoints members will now be able to redeem their points for United travel awards … Wyndham Hotels & Resorts ByRequest has forged a partnership with Air Canada Aeroplan. Guests will earn the standard 500 miles per stay … South American airlines are still grappling with deregulation. Star Alliance’s Varig has slipped to the number two position in Brazil and Continental has stalled on its long-awaited entrance into Argentina, citing that the country’s airlines were on the “brink of economic catastrophe” … Closer to home, in Las Vegas, National Airlines confirmed that it received an offer from Carl Icahn, the former owner of TWA. Although details of the deal were not disclosed, the Las Vegas-based airline indicated a deal could be completed very shortly … As the official slant is put on the termination of the merger between US Airways and United, British Airways is becoming more vocal regarding antitrust immunity between the United States and Great Britain.

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