Reports from London say that Thai Airways and Air New Zealand may leave the Star Alliance.
Thai Airways International said it would review its membership because it had lost business after Singapore Airlines joined Star last year.
Thai Airways president Bhisit Kuslasayanon told reporters the airline had lost almost half of its operating revenue in South-east Asia after Lufthansa had diverted some traffic to Singapore Airlines.
A Star Alliance spokesman was quoted as saying about the moves: "From what we can gather, these are just conceptual and exploratory, and it would be inappropriate for us to comment beyond that."
Air New Zealand could be hit with a USD$25 million exit fee if it breaks away from the Star Alliance to join the rival oneworld grouping.
The "poison pill" is one of a number of penalties Star Alliance recently put in place to protect its business if members quit following ownership changes, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Air New Zealand would have to pay quarterly cash contributions towards Star Alliance for a two-year period after giving notice. Air New Zealand customers would also be prevented from transferring their Star Points across to fly on Qantas linkups. Their flights on Air New Zealand would continue to be accrued as Star Points during the notice period.
Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed concern over a Qantas-led plan under which the Australian airline would buy stakes held by Singapore Airlines and Brierley Investments to emerge with a 55 percent holding in Air New Zealand.
The Prime Minister identified three key obstacles to the concept:
* It posed "great risks" to the national flag carrier's bilateral international landing rights which are dependent on it being substantially owned and managed by New Zealand
* There was a risk to competition within Australia and New Zealand, on the transTasman route and internationally to Los Angeles and other Pacific destinations
* The promotion of New Zealand as a tourist destination would also be at risk if Air New Zealand was seen as a Qantas subsidiary.
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2194 times:
SkyTeam's been courting Thai from the outset. When Singapore joined Star, the courting got more intense. SkyTeam needs a S.E. Asian airline, and Thai fits the bill. As for AirNZ, if they leave, they'll probably join Oneworld with Qantas and co. Although AirNZ may be courted by SkyTeam also, seeing as they lack an Oceanic airline in the alliance.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2184 times:
As I said on another post, so much depends on what happens with the QF/SQ/NZ/AN deals that are on the table. I do not see Qantas walking away with Air New Zealand, and but for the new Qantas issue, Air New Zealand was perfectly happy with its membership in the Star Alliance.
As for Thai, they are unhappy that SQ is now part of Star, they have been from the beginning and are getting more and more "pissed off" as the months pass. I do not think that they will pull out in the long run, they are just trying to protect their position in Star so that they are not totally overshadowed by SQ.
Jiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2186 times:
I think there's less possibilities for Air NZ to leave Star.
First, would a New Zealand's National airlines controlled by Aussies?
This is the main factor.
Second, if Air NZ left Star, they will have to pay large amount of fines for leaving Star as penalties.
I don't think either Qantas or Air NZ is willing to pay this fine. Unless, Qantas is financially powerful.
About Thai Airways, I think Thai haven't learn their lesson about "Coooperation".
Geographically, Thailand and singapore is similar to Germany and Scandinavia. If Lufthansa and SAS can coorperate really well, then why can't Thai cooperate with SIA?
May be SAS and Lufthansa (both have really close relationships with Thai) can pursuade Thai to stay in Star and cooperate with SIA.