On the BA website today I noticed a piece about Aer Lingus removing its business class product on all European flights from the start of the Summer 2005 season. This means that as well as being all economy EI will also only offer a buy on board policy for snacks, etc. Aer Lingus is continuing its repositioning as a LCC, the move it hopes will ensure its continued survival and prosperity, but it raises again the carrier's continued long-term membership of OneWorld as it continues to transform itself from a full-service to no-frills carrier. I know that for the present things will continue as is, but any more measures like this, particularly if it starts altering its longhaul model, must bring continued membership into doubt, if only because the disparity in service levels will become so great.
Could we see BA making a bid for some, or all, of EI's LHR slots if this happened? Can AA's entry into the US-Ireland market next summer be seen as testing the water for a potential all year round stand alone operation, in lieu of the codeshare on EI metal? Curious as to peoples opinions on this, as EI is the first airline within in the three global alliances to be really moving away completely from the legacy/full service model.