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Opinion: BA-Swiss Merger Would Work  
User currently offlineJcded From Switzerland, joined Jan 2004, 213 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2181 times:

I would like to see British Airways BA merge with Swiss LX because both markets are sufficently distant to make synergies work with limited cannibilization of markets.

Both brands are considered to be premium brands (Swiss recently won "Leading Airline of Europe award") and Zurich ZRH would be a great addition to Heathrow LHR as a hub due to ZRH's central european location and reduce congestion at LHR. Zurich has alot of capacity to spare (Terminal B empty) and will have a new in airport shopping center within the next few years (airside center). Switzerland also has a relatively high percentage of premium traffic and when Swiss finishes unloading the MD-11s (Swiss as a company was never really satisfied with these birds) the fleet will be one of the youngest in europe and with a premium product in all classes.

Already Swiss' Travel Club Frequent flyer programme is being merged with BA's Executive club (I'm Travel Club Silver and I'm not too excited about BA's executive club terms).

Three dents in the plan: BA doesn't operate widebody Airbus, but I think the other factors can overcome this; Swiss' precarious financial position; and lastly LHR terminal 5 when it comes online will increase capacity at LHR (though not sure how this would increase landing slots). Personally I prefer flying through ZRH then LHR because ZRH is easy to navigate and get around quickly whereas LHR is a mini-trip in a trip.
Though I would like to see Swiss exist on it's own, it would be too difficult to survive against the european majors, especially if a merger frenzy is about to begin (step 1 KLM- Air France).




You breathe to do good and have fun.
3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5293 posts, RR: 61
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2090 times:

@Jced: Welcome to Airliners.net. Nice to see another Geneva member.

Both brands are considered to be premium brands (Swiss recently won "Leading Airline of Europe award")

That is the one point I would not really agree with. Swiss was considered a premium brand until the "Swiss in Europe" (pay for food in Y/no food at all in Y) concept was introduced. British Airways has gone the exact opposite direction improving the free food offered in Y. Not that the above is significant enough to stop a potential merger of course, although I expect British Airways to try Iberia first; arguably a more suitable candidate.

Jer

[Edited 2004-02-01 15:31:50]


Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2072 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2048 times:

I'd have to agree with Teahan that an IB merger for BA seems more realistic than one with LX. BA-IB would be an absolute trans-atlantic giant, BA from LHR to North America and IB from MAD to Central and South America.

BA already owns 9% of IB too. Any deal though would be dependent on EU renegotiations of Bilaterals. Just look at the complexity of the AF-KL deal so that both airlines can remain "national" carriers - If KL was considered French a lot of its bilaterals would become invalid.

Analysists suggest that until that problem becomes resolved the benefits of European mergers won't be too great, that is cost savings. Any BA-IB deal, and I think Eddington has alluded to this, will not come about simply because AF-KL have done so. Real benefits must be achieved by such a deal.

Therefore, that is why a BA-LX deal seems unlikely. I agree that it would be an ideal fit, but I guess that oneworld membership is more preferable at the minute to provide this Central European hub - hopefully by the middle of this year.



Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineEZYcrew From Spain, joined Oct 2001, 460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

Teahan,

IB was due to start "sales on board drinks and food" in Y-cl on its European flights in January, but has postponed the programme until March 1st 2004. And Aer Lingus, a long time BA partner and OneWorld member, also has this concept on its European network.
Therefore I doubt Y-cl service is of any consideration when BA choses for a partner.


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