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Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:40 am

In another thread, this was mentioned.

since when did Northwest start working with others.

Which leads to my question; which is the oldest airline alliance? As far as I can remember, the NW/KL alliance is one of the oldest but I'm not real sure.
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:41 am

The NW/KL alliance is the oldest and the most integrated. Began 1993.
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:52 am

The oldest airline alliance still in existance is that between Qantas and British Airways/BOAC/Imperial Airways. Born 1934, still going on today. The details have changed, but the basic alliance has never wavered.

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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Though technically not an alliance SAS - Scandinavian Airlines System was formed in 1946 (decades before airline alliances as we know them today were invented) by the national airlines of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Had it happened 50 years later, my guess is that the three airlines would have achieved essentially the same result but by an alliance rather than a merger.
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:25 pm

In reference to what people have already said, and to clarify what another member wrote, I bring you this. You can also find it at www.nwa.com, where it mentions the alliance has been around since 1991.

"Pioneering a New Global Alliance"

"If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the face on the Northwest/KLM alliance has been blushing for years. Not only was the Northwest/KLM alliance the first airline alliance in the world, ours is the most deeply integrated. The Northwest/KLM alliance coordinates schedules, prices and capacity under an Open Skies agreement between the United States and The Netherlands. What this means for you is convenience. Prior to the implementation of the Alliance, travelers would often have to deboard multiple planes, recheck luggage, and keep track of several tickets to reach a single destination. Now, a flight from Boston to Bangkok is as simple as one ticket, one luggage check-in, one trip. Truly Northwest and KLM have formed a global joint venture unlike anything the world has seen before. As Air Transport World wrote in 1997, 'Northwest and KLM have transformed the very structure of the airline industry.'"

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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:29 pm


are you a scando?

i do believe star-alliance is one of the first "modern" alliances, in the way earning points and redeeming miles across airlines. sas started their alliance in '88 with continental, quickly incorporating the companies it bought into the alliance. it would not have been the first either in gemuser's way, but one of the other first "modern" ones,

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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 2:29 pm


There is nothing in that quote that QF/BA werent doing in the 1930's. In fact a whole heap of airlines were doing that by the 1940/50/60 including QF/BA/IA/SA/CP/TE/(NZ)/MSA(/SQ/MH), commonly called the old empire alliance, and it still has a certain validity today.

QF/BA still the winner for oldest airline alliance.

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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:23 pm

Thai Airways founding partnership with SAS in 1959 was one of the earliest airline alliances ever signed.
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:49 am

I think NW/AS was before even NW/KL, wasn't it?
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:56 am

Whats about

Swissair / Delta Air Lines / Singapore Airlines?
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:06 am

Hi Scramjet,

Actually the NW/AS deal came to bloom after NWA/KLM. NWA gave AS the LAX-SEA, LAX-PDX, SFO-SEA, SFO-PDX, SAN-SEA, SAN-PDX flying and then began "code sharing" on them.
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RE: Oldest Airline Alliance

Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:08 am

The oldest one that I know of in terms of year started, although it lasted for only about one year, was the codeshare agreement between American Airlines and the Graf Zepellin Hindenberg in 1936-7. Don't know much about the operation, though, is there anybody out there who has more information on this?

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