I went to a conference today at our headquarters in CDG. The theme was AF and the alliances.
The lecturer was the director of Alliances for Air France and it was very interesting.
The most important thing was the launch of AFDL's global alliance. The date is set for March 2000 and the place is New-York. The first members of the alliance are the ones you all know about AF-DL-AM and KE !
OK, I can hear you guys screeming at Korean Air but we also did during the conference and the lecturer told us why KE is integrated. Korean Air's new chairman is creating huge waves at KE and has appointed DL and Boeing to retrain the pilots. KE will interview all its pilots and some of them will have to leave the airline apparently. Korean has a good product and the futur hub of Inchon Airport in Seoul will be one of the greatest in Northern Asia. DL and AF decided to "board" KE to avoid the lost of the asian carrier. They don't want to frustrate them and see them running to Star or Oneworld when they will feel better.
Also, there are lots of questions about AF doing the same businessElite on its aircraft. It is now official from Air France it is NO ! They are not prepared, and by they I am talking about all 4 airlines, to lose their products. even if DL's Elite seat is better than the 127 at AF, you won't see it on the AF planes. Our customers want to keep specific products for each airline and do not want a melt-down of all different service.
All 4 carriers have proposed different names and logos and ad campaign agencies. Air France's choice of name, logo and publicity agency for the launch of the alliance was chosen by all other members. Yet the lecturer kept it as a secret for the launch in March. He is very pleased with the Ad and said that it was the kind of Oneworld where the customer is the prime worry of the alliance unlike Star's ads which are centered around the different carrier, nothing warm, personal. Just a very long plane !
We were told that if Swissair left Delta it was over the frustration of the CEO. He was very upset to see DL go with AF. We were also told that when DL changed its management team and welcomed Leo Mullin, DL speech to AF was that if AF chooses DL over CO, DL was ready to dump SR if AF desired so, but they would really like to keep them. AF was happy with SR but not SR, they were upset and frustrated.
Why did we lose Austrian to Lufthansa ? Well LH told OS that should they choose someone else than themselves they would start a price war with OS and kill them ! OS went to Star ! British Midland to Star was evident. Our lecturer told us that Lufthansa is in a crusade to undermine the AF-DL alliance by going to all potential partners for AF-DL.
Oh by the way, you people at Continental, is it true that CO is looking to buy its shares back from Northwest ?
The AF-DL alliance is now focusing on enrolling carriers from Asia and South America. The brazilian partners are looked upon and a choice will be made later, The chinese partners also.
There, I hope I didn't forget a thing,
Now its time for your comments.