The two airline alliances -- STAR and oneworld, is currently having a competition on stacking up more airlines as its members! STAR, having nine airlines currently, (ANA, Ansett, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, United, Lufthansa, Thai, Varig, SAS) will be adding more members to its alliance next year namely Austrian Airline Group (includes Austrian Airlines, Lauda air, Tyrolean Airways), Singapore Airlines (great!), British Midland and Mexicana. Also EVA Air of Taiwan (code sharing partner of ANA-ANK, Ansett, Air New Zealand, Thai, Air Canada, Lufthansa) reportedly has been considering joining it in the near future. And South African Airways (SIA, Ansett, Lufthansa, all have link to it) is also anticipated by aviation observers to join the Star Alliance.
On the other hand, oneworld, led by AA and BA, has 7 member airlines currently (AA, BA, Cathay, Qantas, Canadian, Finnair, Iberia) and had announced that Aer Lingers and Aero Mexico is joining next year.
With the two giant alliances, does anyone care about the NW/KLM link? Or the Air France/Delta link, not to mention the already-fragile Qualiflyer group without Austrian and Lauda!
And also most of the "good service" or "unique in its own way" airlines have joined an alliance (Thai, SIA, Cathay, Qantas, BA etc...) so the Air France/ Delta; Qualiflyer; NW/KLM really has nothing unique but "just another airline alliance" they tried to make to compete with the two existing giants!
And not to be too harsh but many of those alliances have carieers that have worse reputations on services that just cannot compete with airlines such as Qantas, CX, Ansett, not to mention the legendary Singapore Airlines.
So when it comes to chosing airlines, I wonder what they will choose with so many alliances offering same routes and networks?