Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Fri Aug 20, 1999 11:38 pm

In the most recent issue of Airways magazine(October 1999), in the cover story about Aerolineas Argentinas, it says, talking about the new A340's three-class service:

"Previously, the company did not offer first class, but Cush [AR's American COO] admits that an airline which has so many 12-hours flight needs one. Not coincidentally, a three-class cabin is also a requirement for entry into the oneworld alliance." (page 25)

Is this true? Canadian Airlines,a founding member of oneworld, has only two-class international service. Aer Lingus, which has plans to join oneworld, also has two-class service. Does Star also have this requirement? SAS has only two-classes.

Any insight on this topic?

Fly US Airways

Good Question.

Fri Aug 20, 1999 11:45 pm

You've raised quite an intersting debate there. I'm not sure whether a three-class service is indeed necessary for enrollment into the respective alliances. I agree that the comment made in Airways seems a little inaccurate, given Canadian and SAS only operate a two-class Internatinal service. Let's see what others say.


Another Point

Sat Aug 21, 1999 1:38 am

One reason might be that the alliances want commonality in classes-travel so seamless it seams like one airline. But they won't be able to acheive that because each airline has a different style. AA's new First Class pod seat is a lot different from BA and QF's private sleeper seat. Cathay's service is also quite different than AA's.

Fly US Airways
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RE: Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Sat Aug 21, 1999 11:01 am

Canadian Airlines has (or used to have until 1996 for sure) three-class services in its DC-10-30s and 747-400s routes. The 767-300 ERs also offer Executive Class throughout Canadian's domestic network.

Varig Airlines, until recently, offered only economy class in its domestic, narrow-body network in Brazil. And still, a founder-member of Star Alliance.

Surely the commonality between the service standard helps, but it is not what alliances are looking for in their formation stage. I think that more important than services, in their earliest stage, is to have access to key markets.

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RE: Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Sat Aug 21, 1999 11:53 am

I dont think this requirement is part of the alliance rules, because as some have already pointed out, Varig and SAS only have 2 classes. So does Ansett Australia for that matter. For OneWorld, Qantas only operates 3 classes on the 747s.
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RE: Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Sat Aug 21, 1999 12:34 pm

AC and CP both offer three classes, but only two classes on any aircraft. On all aircraft there is economy. On domestic aircraft there is also business class. On long range fleets there is a sort of first class product offered, aimed at both business and first class markets. It's supposedly quite a good service.

As far as 3 classes being important to alliances...I'm not sure. I think what they look for is a range of products. The CP and AC first class they currently offer is more comfortable than business class would be on long flights. Putting passengers from alliance connections onto business class would not keep with the alliance's image, or offer satisfactory choice for some passengers. Basically the alliances want to have airlines that offer top-notch service for passengers coming from first class on other carriers. Otherwise they risk losing these passengers. And business passengers, being a middle of the road service, would probably be happy to split off to both a first and economy class service, depending on their preference-saving on cost, or better comfort.

RE: Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Sat Aug 21, 1999 12:47 pm

Yes, on oneworld alliance requirements:

Finnair (I HATE THAT EVERYBODY IS LEAVING THIS AIRLINE OUT!!!) only offers two class service on all international routes, and international routes only. Domestic routes are all economy. Finnair used to offer 3-class service until the late 70's, when it saw that two class service was somewhat better for them. Business Class on Finnair beats most others airline's First Class though.

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RE: Star And Oneworld Entry Requirements

Sat Aug 21, 1999 3:53 pm

Like Finnair - and as someone mentioned earlier, Aer Lingus is a two class airline; so too is Canadian. Ciro was quite correct that it was all to do with market access; no-one is going to forced to introduct a particular type of service. Cathay was once one of the very few airlines to offer a three class service on all flights, but it didn't last long.
In any case, I doubt if anyone from AA or BA will have the nerve to lecture CX on service standards!