JetMaster
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SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:45 pm

Swiss news magazine FACTS published an interesting article on tensions within Star Alliance, including some slamming comments of SAS head Jörgen Lindegaard. Especially Swiss International Airlines joing the alliance seems to be an annoyance for him and others.

http://www.facts.ch/dyn/magazin/wirtschaft/544713.html

The article is in German only, but I translated some passages:

Star Alliance is a "bunch of ailing airlines", says Jörgen Lindegaard, boss of Scandinavian SAS, a founding member of the alliance. Several members wrestle with earings problems (Austrian, LOT, TAP, Thai Airways), partners United Airlines and US Airways are under bankruptcy protection. "Loss-making Swiss fits well there", the SAS teased.

Earlier criticism was already expressed by Austrian head Vagn Soerensen, a former SAS manager, after it had been clear Swiss would enter Star Alliance thanks to new owner Lufthansa.

Known as a usually reserved person, Lindegaard now follows that path. He likes to provoke Swiss as there has always been a love-hate relationship between the Scandianvians and the Swiss. (...) While Swissair went out of business, Lindegaard initiated a cost savings programme at SAS. By the end of 2005 the airline will be profitable again.

In 2004 Lindegaard introduced a three-class system on European services and offers one-way fares without extra charges. The concept is complex but it helps to increase both loads and yields.

Lindegaard regards the concept as a precursor within the alliance and is convinced the other members could also operate more economically by adapting it, especially Swiss. "We negotiate", he says and the deal he is after is about Swiss adapting the concept in exchange for transfering parts of the SAS Spain traffic via Zurich.

On the long term, his target is a "basic ticket" which can be upgraded individually by the customer. His vision: "Like purchasing a computer, customers should decide which extras to add."


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
SNATH
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:04 pm

JM,

Thanks for taking the time to translate it. Interesting comments from Mr Lindegaard. I've never flown them but I'm personally happy that Swiss is joining *A as it gives me more *A options from BOS (provided that they will maintain their flight of course). And I think that's the whole point behind such alliances: more options for the passengers.

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
On the long term, his target is a "basic ticket" which can be upgraded individually by the customer. His vision: "Like purchasing a computer, customers should decide which extras to add."

So, a bit like O'Leary's dream then?  Smile But, in the case of O'Leary the "basic ticket" will cost nothing...

Tony
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Andreas
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:05 pm

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
By the end of 2005 the airline will be profitable again.

And so will be Swiss somewhere in the nearer future. If not, they'll have to close down, or rather they will be closed down by LH.

But I do like his ticket concept...nice idea!
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kappel
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:20 pm

I didn't know TAP was an "ailing" airline. IIRC they are making profits now.
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aviasian
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:37 pm

I don't recall SAS having been consistently profitable . . . although it is certainly now benefitting from better yield and traffic.

If it had previously been unprofitable for periods of time, that it did at one time also "fit well there".

While my personal experience with Swiss International Airlines has been horrible (contrasting with my positive experiences with Swissair), I still think that under the direction of Lufthansa, Swiss should be given a fair chance to make itself a worthy Star Alliance member.

If SAS had always been profitable, then of course my views are purely academic.

KC Sim
Singapore
 
lexer
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:14 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
Several members wrestle with earings problems

Thanks for the translation, but what are "earings problems"? Excuse my ignorance if it's obvious to everyone else.
 
JetMaster
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airl

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:29 am

Quoting Lexer (Reply 5):
Thanks for the translation, but what are "earings problems"? Excuse my ignorance if it's obvious to everyone else.

That was a typo, it should say "earnings".


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
mika
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:44 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
always been a love-hate relationship between the Scandianvians and the Swiss

Where the hell did he get that from? A complete bogus statement..if there's any nation that we have a love/relationship to it is Norway. I am certain that 99,99% of sweden think of Switzerland as any other nation in Europe. What the Swiss think i have no idea about though but i can't understand why there would be any relationship at all (let alone a love/hate relationship) between us, we are not even neighbouring countries!

Strangest statement i heard in a while.
 
N1120A
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:45 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
On the long term, his target is a "basic ticket" which can be upgraded individually by the customer. His vision: "Like purchasing a computer, customers should decide which extras to add."

Not a bad idea, though I not if I have to pay for miles
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JetMaster
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airl

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:49 am

Quoting Mika (Reply 7):
Where the hell did he get that from?

He was refering to the ever changing cooperation/rivalry relationships between SAS and Swissair. "The Scandinavians" means SAS, "the Swiss" means Swissair and its successor - not the countries and their people in general.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
HEGAN
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:52 am

Quote:
Star Alliance is a "bunch of ailing airlines", says Jörgen Lindegaard, boss of Scandinavian SAS, a founding member of the alliance. Several members wrestle with earings problems (Austrian, LOT, TAP, Thai Airways), partners United Airlines and US Airways are under bankruptcy protection. "Loss-making Swiss fits well there", the SAS teased.

What a paragraph!!! in a couple of sentences you see the glory of present aviation industry.

For me, some time ago Star Alliance started to be too big to manage it properly and to cooperate effectively the airlines with each others. Maybe a more balanced alliance is better. Sky Team could be a good example of size and kind of cooperation.

Agur,
HEGAN
HEGAN: Euskadiko Aeronautikako eta Espazioko Clusterra
 
TAP1972
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:54 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
wrestle with earings problems (Austrian, LOT, TAP, Thai Airways)

Don't know about the others (including SAS) but TAP is making profit and has been recovering in tthe past years. This year it will be the oil prices that may impact negativily the accounts.


Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
Earlier criticism was already expressed by Austrian head Vagn Soerensen,

Not surprised, Austrian Airlines (like TAP) were members of the Qualiflyer Group and I believe they don't miss that time.... TAP almost had the same end as Sabena had due to Swissair...
 
CPH757
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:04 am

With all the changes the management at SAS has made during the last years, it's somehow understandable that Lindegaard teases the other carriers.

Although SAS doesn't make profit yet, I have lots of respect for the accomplishment they have made, even though it turns out not to be profitable. It takes the right people to take all those conflicts that the SAS management have taken.

Perhaps Lindegaard is referring to the other carriers not trying to hard as he think he has done himself?
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SHUPirate1
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:09 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
Austrian, LOT, TAP, Thai Airways), partners United Airlines and US Airways are under bankruptcy protection.

In addition to all of the other carriers, could somebody please inform this doofus that US Airways emerged from bankruptcy protection on Tuesday?
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FriendlySkies
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:13 am

Perhaps he should worry about his own earnings problems and just STFU...didn't SAS almost go bankrupt a couple years ago?
 
BlueSky1976
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:00 am

Quoting HEGAN (Reply 10):
Sky Team could be a good example of size and kind of cooperation.

Yeah... Tell that to Delta and Continental....
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PKK
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:35 am

Kudos to Lindegaard for straight talking again.

I have previously tried to give some background and open a discussion about Airline Execs and their "metal"

OK I am biased as a Dane, with Lindegaard being the first Dane to run SAS, but so far, despite others here expressing their disappointment with SAS and Lindegaard, I still have respect for his achievements.

Please look at this very old post of mine for further details of Lindegaards ordeal at SAS. http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eral_aviation/read.main/1454140/6/

Cheers
Peter
 
jyatlantic
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:06 am

I hope they don't withdraw from the alliance. I need their services for next August to OSL.
 
JetMaster
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:48 pm

Quoting Jyatlantic (Reply 17):
I hope they don't withdraw from the alliance. I need their services for next August to OSL.

No chance. Lindegaard clearly said he wants to convince other members to adopt his "invention", no doubt he wants to be a "leader" within Star. SAS will stay for sure.


Regards,
JM
The Journey is my Destination
 
gilesdavies
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:24 pm

He didn't express any comments about BMI...

What a pitty!

Would be interesting to hear an airline professionals opinion of BMI and how they change routes every five mins, don't know what direction they are following (either as a LCC or a full service airline), etc...
 
Joost
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:33 pm

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 19):
He didn't express any comments about BMI...

That might be because SAS is a mayor shareholder in BMI (20% of the shares) and thus he has quite some influence in the decisions made there.
 
HBIHLtoEZE
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:57 pm

love-hate relationship with Sweden???

If there is one such country it has to be Austria (a country by the way that is the mirror, thanksfully, for our political mistakes in the past). They just got the better downhillers...


As far as I can tell Sweden (as well as all other Scandinavian counties) are very popular among the Swiss; I can not remember one single pejorative statement.

Jörgen Lindegaard should be angry at LH...maybe there is a bittersweet relationship with Gremany??

Cheers,

let us overcome nationalism
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nethkt
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:20 pm

I'd agree that STAR has too many ailing airlines.

But I'd say that all airlines have problem!! All full-service airlines are ailing and struggling hard in the business. Gosh, this is so sad for me.

I hope that everything will be better. UA, US, SK, LX...hope they will get through this crisis. They used to be one of the best in the business, it will be very sad to see them go.

 Sad
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
Orion737
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:51 pm

What I find interesting is that several Star Alliance memebers are now no-frills airlines in Europe. SAS charge for a cup of coffee and BMI and Austrian are no-frills in Europe now too.
 
Danny
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:23 am

Quoting JetMaster (Thread starter):
Star Alliance is a "bunch of ailing airlines", says Jörgen Lindegaard, boss of Scandinavian SAS, a founding member of the alliance. Several members wrestle with earings problems (Austrian, LOT, TAP, Thai Airways), partners United Airlines and US Airways are under bankruptcy protection. "Loss-making Swiss fits well there", the SAS teased.

Did he forget that SAS hasn't seen profit for years as well?

LOT will have profit for 2005 btw.
 
nethkt
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RE: SAS Head: Star Alliance A Bunch Of Ailing Airlines

Sat Oct 01, 2005 2:10 am

I don't see that TG's problem with earning is big deal.

TG invested a lot past few years just to be back to top 5 again. TG is also making many projects to save all the cost (even the labour cost in Thailand is still extremely cheap).

TG will surely be profitable and make good money again.

So I don't want to count TG as one ailing airlines in STAR.

SAS, Swiss, UA and US are the real ailing airlines!!
Let's just blame it on yields.