|Quoting Laxintl (Reply 6):|
I would be a little cautious about assuming Egyptair will gain full Star membership. With the entry of Turkish Airlines, it was given exclusive position in the Eastern Mediterranean region including connections to the Levant and chunks of the the Middle East.
EgyptAir has been working and liasing with Lufthansa and Star Alliance for almost a year with the premise of becoming a full alliance member. EgyptAir Chairman, Eng Atef Abdel Hamid stated "We have approached Star Alliance and have had a positive response. I believe we will succeed in this endeavour"
. A lot of work has, and is, taking place behind the scenes which I can't delve into however tentative steps are being taken in terms of upgrading the EgyptAir product and creating/expanding on agreements with current alliance members (including LH
and soon TP
). Furthermore the current network system and fleet planning is being heavily influenced by an alliance membership.
With regards to a possible conflict of interest between MS
, I'd say there isn't a significant amount of overlap. Clearly TK
has a stronger European and Central Asian network, however MS
has a more extensive operation to the Middle East/Gulf and Africa. Star Alliance needs a Middle Eastern carrier to offer a greater number of destinations within the region at higher frequencies and EgyptAir fits the bill.
Furthermore, the alliance needs greater presence in Africa. There's no doubt SA
is a strong carrier however due to the geographical location of its JNB
hub, connections to African destinations may be time consuming and involve a rather long detour. ET
has focused on developing a strong African network and MS
has been doing so since 2005. In fact this summer sees a significant increase in African services with all destinations becoming non-stop. With the exception of North African destinations (i.e. KRT, TIP
, BEN, TUN
and CMN) which are sustained by the heavy O&D demand, MS
carries a significant amount of transfer passengers on its African services particularly EBB
, ASM and JNB
. And with EgyptAir being one of the staunchest supporters of the Yamoussoukro Decision I see significant growth by the carrier in the African market in the foreseeable future.