GF-A330 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 1643 posts, RR: 3 Posted (9 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2357 times:
GULF AIR AND BMI CONCLUDE AGREEMENT TO IMPLEMENT PHASE II OF A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
Gulf Air and bmi have concluded an expanded codeshare agreement. For the first time, the British carrier will place its code on Gulf Air operated flights. Specifically they will place their marketing code on Gulf Air flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Muscat.
The expansion, which comes into effect on 31 October this year, extends the existing codeshare arrangement whereby Gulf Air places its marketing code on bmi flights operating to ten destinations – namely between London Heathrow and Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow, Teesside, Leeds Bradford, Aberdeen, Dublin, Brussels and Amsterdam.
"This agreement will allow passengers holding tickets of either airline to travel on the flights of the other carrier and will facilitate an increased choice and service offering for premium passengers and the general public," said Fareed Al Alawi, Vice President Network at Gulf Air. "It means that bmi passengers will be able to travel seamlessly to and from the Gulf from anywhere on the bmi network by using Gulf Air's extensive operations from the Gulf into London."
"It is also worth noting that this is the first time that an international European airline will place its code on Gulf Air operated services to the Gulf," he added.
The two airlines also continue to negotiate an enhanced Special Prorate Agreement.
Mr Al Alawi said: "With the addition of bmi marketing code on the Gulf Air operations and the recent addition of the three additional Gulf Air codeshare points to Dublin, Brussels and Aberdeen the relationship between bmi and Gulf Air is as strong as ever."
GF-A330 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 1643 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1982 times:
Hello Horus...still no word of the GF/MS co-operation, but more of a co-operation with arab airlines.
Not sure if you already know but there is talk of forming a marketing alliance amongst 5 airlines, still in its preparation phase, which would include Saudi Arabian Airlines, Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines, Gulf Air, Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian.
"The first phase of the plan is already underway with a number of airlines working with Sabre on network rationalisation and on enhancing their distribution policies. This mainly entails cutting loss-making routes, focusing on new market opportunities, and then realigning the fleet to support the new network. Gulf Air and EgyptAir, for instance, have both made huge strides in this regards over recent months.
The second phase of the virtual alliance project will be more challenging, however, as the carriers are attempting something untried in the rest of the world. The idea is that the alliance members will integrate their networks in a similar manner to the global alliances, such as Star and SkyTeam. However, the AACO alliance will face a different challenge to these global groupings, as it will be formed by airlines operating in the same region, rather than having members from around the world.
“Alliances have grown by picking carriers from different areas [of the world] and making their network complementary. What we are trying to do with the virtual alliance, and beyond the virtual alliance, is to see whether there is potential for carriers in the same area to work together,” said Majali.
The challenge for the AACO project is that because the potential virtual alliance members all have their hubs in the same region they offer flights to a similar list of cities, mainly within the Middle East. As such, the network gains are much smaller than those generated in the global alliances, where the members’ operations are based in different regions of the world and have networks that only overlap at the edges.
To generate these network gains, the potential members of the AACO alliance are therefore discussing a form of specialisation, with each carrier focusing on linking the Middle East to a different part of the world. “Let’s say if Royal Jordanian specialises in North America, and has a relatively good network into North America, then give RJ support and have the other carriers feeding into Amman to serve the States. If EgyptAir is strong in Africa we should feed through Cairo and so on,” explained Majali.
“That’s the kind of operation that may form with carriers that have hubs very close to each other, and that are looking outwards, rather than the standard global alliance.”
This specialisation would not preclude airlines from flying to points of the world outside of their assigned region — they would all still fly to Heathrow, for instance — but with each airline concentrating their network and marketing efforts on one particular area, the carriers together would generate greater coverage than with each working separately.
Organising this is challenge though, as it has not been tried anywhere else in the world. Presently, only the very largest carriers successfully operate multiple hubs in the same region, and they clearly have a much more integrated management structure than separate airline pooling their resources. “The problem for the Arab carriers is that the formula for this kind of operation needs to be conceptualised [from scratch],” commented Majali.
How involved Gulf Air will be in the project is also not clear at present. The airline has worked extensively with Sabre on a range of projects to enhance its own operations, and has also agreed codeshare deals with other Middle East carriers, including EgyptAir and RJ. However, this may not necessarily lead to full-blown membership of the virtual alliance.
“One of the points of contention we have is that [Gulf Air] already has the packages with them [Sabre] and we need to ask whether there is any added benefit for them [of joining the alliance],”
Horus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 61 Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1966 times:
I was hoping they'd progress and actually initiate an agreement. Recently MS signed an agreement with SQ to transfer passengers between Egypt and Oz, which was a surprise since the proposed MS/GF agreement was to cover that market. In addition their co-operation was expected to lead to new flights between BAH/AUH and Sharm El Sheikh (SSH). Again this has not happened and instead MS will launch a weekly SSH-DXB-SSH A321 flight next month (MS910)
About the proposed 'Arab Alliance', its been discussed already