Gatwick hopes to get one of the global airline alliances to shift from Heathrow
Stewart Wingate, the Chief Executive of Gatwick airport, said he thought Gatwick could lure one of the global airline alliances away from Heathrow, if they win permission to build a 2nd runway. There are 3 main alliances, SkyTeam, Star Alliance – and OneWorld, led by British Airways. Stewart Wingate conceded it was unlikely that OneWorld would ever leave its Heathrow base, but he hoped one of the others might. None of them wants to move from Heathrow, but Gatwick are hopeful that: “If an alliance were to move down at some future point into Gatwick not only would there be room for that alliance to grow, but that would create more space at Heathrow for the other remaining alliances to grow too.” Gatwick wants to build a new runway to enable the airport to deal with 87 million passengers each year by 2050 compared to 34 million now.
Gatwick has a ‘fighting chance’ of an airline alliance moving from Heathrow, the airport’s chief executive has told the Financial Times.
Stewart Wingate said in an FT interview that an alliance could move to Gatwick in the event of the airport obtaining permission for a second runway, enabling a large scale release of take-off and landing slots.
‘Gatwick is increasingly confident about persuading an independent commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies to back the case for adding a second runway at the airport – rather than expanding Heathrow or building a new hub in the Thames estuary,’ said the article.
Wingate believes the debate about where to build the next runway in the UK was narrowing down to Gatwick or Heathrow, because an estuary hub would be so expensive.
All three alliances – Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star – told the FT in August that they wanted to stay at Heathrow but Wingate said their attitudes could change if Gatwick were allowed to build a second runway.
Oneworld, led by British Airways, is determined to stay at Heathrow, said the FT, which means Gatwick’s efforts at wooing an alliance are expected to focus on SkyTeam and Star.
To see the FT article, click here.
and the Evening Standard said:
Gatwick’s owners today said they could lure one of the global airline alliances if they win permission to build a second runway.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive at the Sussex airport, said he was targeting either SkyTeam or Star Alliance but conceded that OneWorld, led by British Airways, would never leave its Heathrow base.
Although the alliances have said they want to remain at Heathrow, Mr Wingate said: “If an alliance were to move down at some future point into Gatwick not only would there be room for that alliance to grow, but that would create more space at Heathrow for the other remaining alliances to grow too.”
Gatwick wants to build a new runway to enable the airport to deal with 87 million passengers each year by 2050 compared to 34 million now.
Stansted’s owners today launched a campaign for an ungraded rail link to London as they seek to attract long-haul flights to the Essex airport.
The member airlines of Skyteam are:
The member airlines of Star Alliance airlines are:
- Adria Airways JP
- Aegean Airlines A3
- Air Canada AC
- Air China CA
- Air New Zealand NZ
- ANA NH
- Asiana Airlines OZ
- Austrian OS
- Avianca AV
- Brussels Airlines SN
- Copa Airlines CM
- Croatia Airlines OU
- EGYPTAIR MS
- Ethiopian Airlines ET
- EVA Air BR
- LOT Polish Airlines LO
- Lufthansa LH
- Scandinavian Airlines SK
- Shenzhen Airlines ZH
- Singapore Airlines SQ
- South African Airways SA
- SWISS LX
- TAM Airlines JJ
- TAP Portugal TP
- THAI TG
- Turkish Airlines TK
- United UA
- US Airways US
The member airlines of One World alliance are:
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- S7 Airlines
- oneworld airline affiliates
- Members elect
What are airline alliances?
An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a substantial level. The three largest passenger airline alliances are Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld. Alliances also form between cargo airlines, such as that of WOW Alliance, SkyTeam Cargo, and ANA/UPS Alliance. Alliances provide a network of connectivity and convenience for international passengers and international packages. Alliances also provide convenient marketing branding to facilitate travellers making inter-airline codeshare connections within countries. This branding goes as far as to even include unified aircraft liveries among member airlines.
Benefits can consist of:
- An extended network: this is often realised through code sharing agreements. Many alliances started as only a code sharing network.
- Cost reduction from sharing of:
- Sales offices
- Maintenance facilities
- Operational facilities, e.g. catering or computer systems.
- Operational staff, e.g. ground handling personnel, at check-in and boarding desks.
- Investments and purchases, e.g. in order to negotiate extra volume discounts.
- Traveller benefits can include:
- Lower prices due to lowered operational costs for a given route.
- More departure times to choose from on a given route.
- More destinations within easy reach.
- Shorter travel times as a result of optimised transfers.
- A wider range of airport lounges shared with alliance members
- Faster mileage rewards by earning miles for a single account on several different carriers.
- Round-the-world tickets, enabling travelers to fly over the world for a relatively low price.
Airline alliances may also create disadvantages for the traveller, such as:
- Higher prices when all competition is erased on a certain route.
- Less frequent flights: for instance, if two airlines separately fly three and two times a day respectively on a shared route, their alliance might fly less than 5(3+2) times a day on the same route. This might be especially true between hub cities for each airline. e.g., flights between Detroit (a Delta Air Lines fortress hub) and Amsterdam (a KLM fortress hub).
…….. and there is more.
Also an IATA briefing on alliances at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/Economics%20of%20JVs_Jan2012L.pdf