Journal of Air Transport Management 7 (2001) 349–360
Evolution of global airline strategic alliance and consolidation in the twenty-ﬁrst century
. Terence Fana,*, Laurence Vigeant-Langloisa, Christine Geisslerb, Bjorn Boslerb, b Jan Wilmking
School of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, MIT Room 35-217, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA b Pro-Team, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Abstract Global airline strategic alliances have emerged since the late 1980s, and their number has slowly risen through the years. Will the number of such alliances continue to proliferate? Or will airlines consolidate with one another to form mega-carriers? In this paper, the likelihood of various airline consolidation and alliance development possibilities was examined based on a number of high-level trends and forces. The most probable near-term industry alliance and consolidation structure is described, accompanied with a probable path of evolution. These predictions have important implications for managers of strategic alliances, carriers who are currently in an alliance as well as carriers who are planning to join one. r 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Global airline strategic alliance; Airline consolidation; Airline industry structure
1. Introduction ‘‘Swissair to Sell its Delta Stake’’, New York Times, 24 June 1999, C4. ‘‘Austrian Air Switches Allegiance to Star Alliance’’, Financial Times, London Edition, 22 September 1999, p. 8. ‘‘KLM Ends Venture with Alitalia’’, Wall Street Journal, 1 May 2000, A22. ‘‘Air Canada/Canadian Switch US Airline Partners’’, Globe and Mail, 20 May 2000, B4. ‘‘BA Holds Talks with SkyTeam’’, Financial Times, London Edition, 28 October 2000, p. 19. ‘‘Its strategy oﬀ course, Swissair looks for a new bearing’’, International Herald Tribune, 16 March 2001, p. 15. These news headlines highlight an element of ﬂuidity underlying the evolution of global airline...