Hey all. I found this interesting article about the Star Alliance thinking of a joint purchase of the A350 and 7E7. Also, it mentions that Aeroflot and Air China may join the alliance. I cut out parts of the article that detailed the A350, which we know already, and a small part detailing the alliance's joint purchase of fuel and interline ticketing efforts.
HEADLINE: Star Alliance to 'Study' Suitableness of Airbus A350
MEDIA OUTLET: Bloomberg
BYLINE: Kyunghee Park
DATE: December 13, 2004 10:48 EST
Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Star Alliance, the world's biggest
airline grouping, said it will ``study'' the suitableness of the
A350 aircraft planned by Airbus SAS, a move that may bring 15
potential buyers to the world's largest planemaker as it develops
a model to compete with Boeing Co.'s future 7E7 airliner.
``We identified two new aircraft, the 7E7 and Airbus A350, as
the next topic for continued coordination in our group,'' Jaan
Albrecht, the chief executive officer of the 15-airline group,
said at a press conference in Bangkok today.
The seven-year-old Star Alliance, with 2,418 aircraft among
its member airlines, flies 353.2 million passengers to 133
countries every year. The Frankfurt-based group, which started
joint aircraft purchases from Airbus and Boeing in April 2003,
wants to set common employee-training standards, cut maintenance
costs and enhance the resale value of aircraft.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG
and Air Canada were among Star Alliance
members saying in February that they would negotiate with Boeing
for joint purchases of the 7E7. Some members have also tried to
cut costs by jointly purchasing fuel, and a year ago the alliance
formed a company to buy fuel together, which it said may help
airlines save ``hundreds of millions of dollars'' a year.
Star also counts Chicago-based UAL Corp.'s United Airlines,
the world's second-largest carrier, and Singapore Airlines Ltd.,
Asia's most profitable carrier, as members as well as Asiana
Airlines Inc., Air New Zealand and Thai Airways International Pcl.
India, China Plans
The group is also looking at expanding with new members in
India and China, Albrecht said.
``The airlines are individually working with Indian carriers
and we have collectively approached Chinese carriers,'' he said.
``We hope to make some announcement certainly in 2005.''
Air China, which has the nation's second-largest airliner
fleet, said it's scheduled to make a decision on joining Star
Alliance after completing its initial stock trading this week. OAO
Aeroflot, Russia's state-owned carrier, is also in talks to join.