I read this article in airwise.com
Airline Alliances Face Changes
May 31, 2001
Reports from London say that Thai Airways and Air New Zealand may leave the Star Alliance.
Thai Airways International said it would review its membership because it had lost business after Singapore Airlines joined Star last year.
Thai Airways president Bhisit Kuslasayanon told reporters the airline had lost almost half of its operating revenue in South-east Asia after Lufthansa had diverted some traffic to Singapore Airlines.
A Star Alliance spokesman was quoted as saying about the moves: "From what we can gather, these are just conceptual and exploratory, and it would be inappropriate for us to comment beyond that."
Air New Zealand could be hit with a USD$25 million exit fee if it breaks away from the Star Alliance to join the rival oneworld grouping.
The "poison pill" is one of a number of penalties Star Alliance recently put in place to protect its business if members quit following ownership changes, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Air New Zealand would have to pay quarterly cash contributions towards Star Alliance for a two-year period after giving notice. Air New Zealand customers would also be prevented from transferring their Star Points across to fly on Qantas linkups. Their flights on Air New Zealand would continue to be accrued as Star Points during the notice period.
Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed concern over a Qantas-led plan under which the Australian airline would buy stakes held by Singapore Airlines and Brierley Investments to emerge with a 55 percent holding in Air New Zealand.
The Prime Minister identified three key obstacles to the concept:
* It posed "great risks" to the national flag carrier's bilateral international landing rights which are dependent on it being substantially owned and managed by New Zealand
* There was a risk to competition within Australia and New Zealand, on the transTasman route and internationally to Los Angeles and other Pacific destinations
* The promotion of New Zealand as a tourist destination would also be at risk if Air New Zealand was seen as a Qantas subsidiary.
What do you think about it?!!!!!!!