Etihad, Alitalia & Skyteam?

Discussion in 'SkyTeam' started by Gargoyle, Jan 8, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gargoyle
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    Alitalia is now in a "partnership", as they put it, with Etihad. In other words, Etihad invested more than half a billion Euro for a 49% stake in AZ. Etihad isn't (as far as I can tell) in any of the big three alliances.

    Alitalia will exit loss-making short-haul markets and add long-haul growth from multiple Italian cities to Abu Dhabi and other destinations (probably more China routes).

    The Etihad CEO, James Hogan, acknowledges the value of Skyteam membership to AZ says he expects AZ to remain in Skyteam (sounds a bit wishy washy). No mention of Etihad joining Skyteam.

    Etihad has its own alliance, the Equity Alliance, now with 8 members.
    The other Equity Alliance members are:
    Air Berlin
    Air Serbia
    Air Seychelles
    Jet
    Virgin Australia
    Air Lingus

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    VA already has a bilateral partnership with DL.

    So far the major Gulf airlines seem not to desire alliance membership or even many major partnerships, so I wouldn't be optimistic about Etihad joining SkyTeam anytime soon. I could see a few more bilateral arrangements in the future, perhaps with AF/KLM to serve smaller European airports or with DL to permit easy connections throughout the USA.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Don't expect to see Etihad push into a traditional alliance. Qatar Airways did it with oneworld so it is not unprecedented but Etihad seems to be building its own rather than playing with the others. The part where Air Berlin is in OW and AZ is in ST makes it unlikely that EY will just pick one or the other.

    EY has a lot of Europe covered with AB, Air Serbia, EI & AZ. Not sure that AFKL is a good fit otherwise. And why choose AFKL over the LLH Group or IAG carriers? None of them seem likely as those big three groups don't have the same financial challenges that the smaller airlines EY invested had previously.
     
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  4. Gargoyle
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    Makes sense. And in some ways AZ could be a great investment for them. Due to its history of financial problems, I'm thinking it was a relatively cheap buy for Etihad. AZ has huge potential- Italy is such a major origin/destination. However, it's always been a mess. With no-nonsense professional foreign management it could well turn into something quite successful. Both management and labor in Italy have always resisted change or reform, but after the past 5 years, much of that resistance is broken down. And this would dovetail with the overall directions that Renzi is trying to push with his new government.

    Watch for drama and fireworks...
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Italy is weak as a business travel market. And AZ's choice to double down on ROM versus MIL was a massive boondoggle. If Etihad can actually get the labor groups to function then there's a chance for success. But it will require massive changes and there has been no indication thus far that the Italians are ready for that.
     
  6. akcae
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    FCO is a cluster. Transiting from Schengen to non-Schengen flights is a painful, nasty exercise I would not wish to inflict on anyone.
     
  7. Gargoyle
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    I don't know about that. I did those transits 8 times in '14. It's a long walk, (and a train ride) but signage is very good, passport control is pretty quick, and I had no problems. MXP was easier when it was a hub, but the AZ lounges at FCO are much better than those at MXP were.

    Sure beats similar transits at AMS. However, since they got 2e fixed, CDG is the easiest of the three. (prior to that it was the pits).
     
  8. akcae
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    My last experience at FCO (pointless) passport control transiting from Schengen to non-Schengen was a total cluster. 7-10 lines of people pushing thru, trying to squeeze in past 4 passport booths. It was July and hot as hell. No family lines, no elite/priority lines. My daughter in a stroller was trampled several times. Agents were screaming at the passengers to stand behind some imaginary line that was't marked. When we finally made it to the booth, after almost 30min of this, the agent barely glanced at the passports, or us, didn't stamp them and just waived us thru.
    It was literally the most pointless exercise I've seen in passport "control".
     
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  9. Gargoyle
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    Might have to do with the time of day and how many flights are feeding through. I transited twice in May and twice in August (each time one non to Schengen and one Schengen to non) and the worst line I hit wasn't much more than 10 minutes. Yes, no priority lines, but the lines were held together pretty well. I always get stamped, but they only seem to look at the passport enough to find a somewhat blank space in which to stamp.

    Hope I don't jinx my next transit by saying it was no problem... :p
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    AFAIK it's SOP in Europe to do passport control inbound and outbound, hence the need to show a passport when leaving the schengen area.
     
  11. UA/Travel_!_Junky

    UA/Travel_!_Junky Active Member

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    I would be happy if Emirates joined Star. That would be a good day
     
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  12. redtailshark

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    Yes, but there's also disorganization at MXP. I connected not long ago on LH via MXP and inbound a/c from LHR docked at a gate with no Schengen access - the perspex gate was closed and locked. Pax milled around in confusion because there was literally no ext from the gate area. We pax had to call out to the security guard facing the other way to alert him to the problem and he had to go through hoops to unlock the door manually, screen us manually, and let us in. Too bad they just got us to the connecting flight in time, I was hoping for a full-Y reissue.

    On another occasion in the bowels of FCO I was waved through the EU line without document inspection in spite of waving my US passport at the officials and telling them I would need an entry stamp into the EU or it might cause exit problems for me. They seemed mildly querulous at this reasonable request to perform their appointed function.......
     
  13. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    My thoughts....well, EY is clearly building their own alliance, steadily and patiently waiting for the reasonable prospect of SkyTeam implosion and meantime negotiating bilaterals with nonaligned or financially ripe partners.

    Second, whatever EY does it is likely to be better than one of the alternatives. Which can only be described as:

    [​IMG]mejor en su clase[​IMG]
     
  14. GoldenFlyer

    GoldenFlyer Silver Member

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    Actually Etihad seems engaged in making its own alliance with a hard and patient job.
    Alitalia is member of Sky team and Air Berlin of One World.
    Speaking about Etihad guest it is already the FFP of Air Seychelles and Air Serbia too. It seems or they want to make their own alliance or get the companies with times under a big Etihad. So need to wait and see.
    But they have good services and their Gold Tier is very interesting.
     

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