Air Malta set to join Star Alliance?

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by maltapoints, Dec 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. maltapoints

    maltapoints Silver Member

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    In other posts I've noted the fact that, given how you can earn/redeem Flypass KMiles, Air Malta is now effectively an unofficial member of the Lufthansa etc Miles & More clique.

    I think it's pretty certain that Air Malta will become a fully integrated member in the not-too-distant future.

    However, having spoken to some fairly well placed people at the airline, I also believe that Air Malta will become a full member of the Star Alliance network too. The only issue holding them back, it appears, is with the restructuring/cashflow issues at the airline, they have a million different priorities (they've had to jump through the various hoops, including unlawful "State Aid" competition issues surrounding the injection of cash into the airline by the Maltese government).

    So, while reforming Flypass, integrating into Miles & More and joining Star Alliance are all firmly on the agenda, they join this multitude of other matters on the "to do" list. Nevertheless, it does appear to be a case of "when rather than if".

    Certainly I expect formalisation of the Miles & More relationship relatively soon (although "relatively soon" by Air Malta standards could easily be 18 months).

    Needless to say I'll continue to lobby my end for improvements to Flypass. It is worth noting, however, that the informal tie up with Miles & More means Flypass members who use their KMiles cleverly get most of the benefits of the scheme.
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Being a partner with M&M is a far cry from being an unofficial member of the program and even further from joining the alliance. There are plenty of bilateral deals out there between airlines which never lead to full integration with the other carrier, much less alliance partnerships.
     
  3. Joining up with miles and more is a decent indication they would like to be part of *A. It generally takes a couple of years for new entries to comply with the alliance rules from what I've seen. Things such as system upgrades to incorporate *A schedules,etc.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are many non-alliance affiliates with most major airline programs. For M&M there are (at least) Air India, Jet Airways, Luxair, Air Malta, Condor and Germanwings. Other carriers have similar arrangements. It is much more about bilateral treaties providing additional access in markets where the "main" carrier does not have sufficient service for its customers than about inducting them into the alliance.

    Maybe Air Malta wants to join *A and maybe they don't. But they certainly aren't poised to do so simply by virtue of a rather limited partnership with M&M.
     
  5. maltapoints

    maltapoints Silver Member

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    Point taken WA, but the fact is there are some very loud rumblings going on at Air Malta re the frequent flyer scheme. Based on the discussions I have had with, and the commercial practice of, Air Malta recently, I'd be surprised if this did not lead in the (relatively) short term to a Miles & More tie up, and in the longer term to the joining of Star Alliance.

    This is all in the context, of course, of Air Malta announcing that it is to fully revamp/replace the Flypass FFP ("sometime in 2013"...).

    Of course, with the various financial problems it's undergoing, nothing is straightforward at Air Malta. As such, even if it is a "penned in" agenda item, it could still take years for the M&M/*A formalisation to conclude. However, I do stand by my original post - I have had clear indications from those who should know that this is a probability, it's not mere speculation, based solely on their informal deal with M&M.
     

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