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Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:40 pm

After reading about RG's stop of the MUC-GRU route I decided to express some thoughts about Star Alliance.

I think there are few dominating carriers within Star, such as LH, UA, SQ and SK, that rule the alliance's policy, while others, smaller carriers like Varig, Thai and Mexicana don't have any influence and are treated bad.
Instead of cooperation the airlines act against each other, and the large carriers often try to reduce competition within the alliance. They fear to lose business to other members.

A new example is Varig's stop of the GRU-MUC route. Background: LH had never thought about starting MUC-GRU on its own(too risky for our passive LH), but they ordered Varig to do that. Varig started and was sson successful, very successful and even upgraded to the MD-11.
LH's reaction? "Oh, RG does well, so let's start it on our own, let's throw three own flights on the market (knowing that six flights a week are too many) and wait until RG gives up. Then we have our monopoly on the route and get cash cash cash!!"
Quite simple. Let the fools do the dirt and then gain the success.

Other examples? Varig is for example trated bad by UA on the routes between the US and South America. UA has often refused to accept RG passengers and treated them bad. There have also been reports about UA employees asking: Who is Varig? Should we know them?
If you don't believe it, read Airrways Mag May or June this year, there's an interesting article about Varig that shows that in detail, And we all know that Airways Mag is a very serious magazine!

The same about Thai. After SQ entered Star, many code-sharing routes were switched to SIA, Thai lost significant business. Now with SIA in Star, the big players like UA and LH don't need em any longer and treat them bad until they decide to leave the alliance. I'm sure, Thai will leave, sooner or later! I hope so because they are a good airline and should be treated appropriately.
I remember several reports about other Star members (apart from LH) that have never accepted Thai and long time refused to cooperate effectively.

Within Star, it seems the dominant carriers rule and just want to get, but never give anything to the smaller members. Competition from the smaller members is something which the dominant carriers are afraid of...

And though SIA is a leading member, LH fears competition. Remember MUC-SIN?
SIA has always stated that they want to fly the route. Then they wanted to start and suddenly LH cried out: Well, we will fly that route! (but without SIA's interest they would never have started on their own...).
Even worse for both LH and UA: SIA wanted to fly from MUC to ORD. Both big players were shocked and already saw their passengers flee to SIA in their imagination. They blocked it. Well done!

The same for FRA-JFK. LH really would like to see SIA switch to SIN-LHR-JFK to get rid of competition. They know why, SIA's JFK service offers any amenities available, compared to poor LH service, the reason why SIA is successful with the route.

What happened to ANZ's FRA-LAX service? LH took it over, yes, "to increase efficiency within Star", but inofficially they were pissed by ANZ's quite popular service...and I really cannot remember ANZ having poor load factors to FRA...

Any more examples? I'd like to see them all!

I'm just pissed by LH and others and I for myself just don't fly them any longer, no matter if I have to change planes four or five times. Other carriers just offer more for my money and don't kill any competition. Why? Because they don't fear competition!

Fly the alternative!
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2000 6:22 pm

RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Mon Jul 02, 2001 8:47 pm

Alliances have indeed more advantages for certain airlines, than for pax, let alone the smaller carriers. Look, what happened with Qualiflyer, or what's happening with TG, or how LH threatened OS to start a fierce price war on the German-Austrian market, if they wouldn't join Star.

On a funnier side (and don't take it too serious):
I think - dear Udo - that your's is only an excuse to fly the longer routes with more interesting aircraft, isn't it?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy I for one have already made flight plans according to available aircraft on the specific routes  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy

dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment

RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Mon Jul 02, 2001 11:15 pm

Don't bash LH that hard ! Of course you've got some points and I myself also prefer flying AF or would prefer SQ to LH anytime.

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Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2000 12:28 am

RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:02 am

The european room yields enough examples of junior "partners" being put under pressure by their bigger countertparts.
As Star was founded, the SAS longhaul network was severely reduced. Guess who put the pressure on SAS to send their passengers via FRA? Yep, right, LH.
SAS is just now starting to recover, which can be seen by the new longhaul fleet on order.
A current example of the same behavior is LH-AUA.
Nobody wants to admit, but several route cuts since joining Star were under pressure from LH:
- Vienna-Almaty, was "officially" discontinued due to the retirement of AUAs A310 fleet. Actually they were replaced on a 1:1 basis by A330-200. Official statement was the route cannot support the larger aircraft. Just funny that LH flies this route five times a week with A340s.
-Vienna-South Africa, up to last year, five times a week, with the flight continuing to Cape Town or Harare. After joining Star, the extensions were cancelled, leaving just VIE-JNB. This was then reduced to three times a week, then cancelled this spring. The flights were full, the not to good yield was just a minor factor. Again, guess who operates this route daily, and didn't want competition?
-Vienna-Shanghai, well, again the larger carrier didn't like the competition, especially as LH was planning to upgrade the route to a daily flight.
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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:05 am

If United is treating Varig and Mexicana so badly, why did United give Mexicana 2 of it's LAX-MEX frequencies, and one of it's 2 ORD-MEX frequencies? Why has United not reinstated DEN-MEX services?

And in regards to Varig, there are some VERY VERY VERY stupid CSRs in Miami.

~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:01 am

There is another example,
Singapore Airlines wanted to start Singapore-Munich-Chicago but because Lufthansa started their own MUC-SIN service and said that SQ is not allowed to fly MUC-ORD, only UA and LH have the rights for this route so SQ decided to fly via AMS and LH has the only daily MUC-ORD and 3 weekly MUC-SIN flights.

Lufthansa is now trying to eleminate EL ALs Tel Aviv-Munich flights by sending 3 A340s a week between this two citys. LY has only 4 flights and will reduce that to 3 flights soon. Im sure thats because of LH, too
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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:35 am

Can someone explain why only LH and UA have right between MUC and ORD? If I'm not mistaken there's an open skies policy between Germany and the US (this is probably also the reason why AMS was selected).

Anyway we all know that LH isn't fond of competition. Why else did LH invest in EW and started to fly from AMS to TXl and HAM? Only to annoy KLM (which can be a valid reason). I still wonder what the load factor on the EW/LH flights are to HAM, TXL and STR as these flights used to be full with KLM transit passengers.

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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 2:44 am

No airline is fond of competition.
Concerning the open skies agreement between Germany and the US - I believe this covers only German and US carriers.
And isn´t this the fate of all niche carriers: once their niche has become warm and smooth, the majors move in and the niche airlines have to look for a new niche...

Daniel Smile
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 7:49 am

RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 6:48 am

Well, even though not being a too big LH fan, I don't really see the point in this criticism. SUre, LH and UA want to be alone between the USA and Germany, but on the other hand, LH stopped serving points beyond Singapore and Bangkok which are now completely left to SQ and TG. I guess that it is just normal in an alliance that every participant concentrates on its regional markets rather than serving worldwide destinations.
The main problem of Air NZ in FRA were probably the low frequencies. As far as I remember, they only flew 2x weekly FRA-LAX-AKL and the aircraft had a long turnaround time until it returned to its homebase. Now with a good connection between LH's FRA-LAX flights and those LAX-AKL flights of Air NZ, they can offer daily flights to AKL and both carriers aircraft have shorter roundtrips, i.e. can be used far more efficient than before to increase both frequency and network.

If you speak about domestic competition, I just ask you : where is the domestic competition in France? AOM, Air Liberté and Air Littoral are nearly gone, and Air France (who seems to appear here as the "white knight" or "Robin Hood") bought their competitors UTA and Air Inter. I think that this is a normal effect of Globalization.

Best regards,


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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 6:49 am

RG has been codesharing with LH for a long time! Regarding MUC route, LH won´t handle it for much longer. I´m sure TAM will turn into it. LH only rules over RG in the German routes. BTW JJ is risking RG/LH monopoly on this route offering better service than LH.

UA/RG have never work smoothly sice they started the codeshare and JJ/AA definetely owns Brazil-USA market.

I really don´t think LH and UA offer best quality services and their reputation goes the same way.

Don´t think UA/LH are headers in this issue! Remember Embraer case. Who woud think they could compete equally to Bombardier and Fairchild 10 years ago?
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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:42 pm

Just a question, if LH isn't fond of SQ's SIN-FRA-JFK service, why do they codeshare on that flight? And I believe SIN-MUC is also a codeshare.

In The Straits Times last week, SQ and LH put up a joint advertisement on them offering 24 flights a week between Singapore and Germany. The funny thing is, the font of the words of the advertisement was in the
font SIA always uses for its advertisements. And it ended with "Of course, whichever flight you choose, you can always enjoy the inflight service even other airlines talk about". Isn't that an 'signature' SIA statement?

ANd as I said in the "777" post, UA offered SIN-North America tickets for the equivelent of US$260 in response to SQ dumping fares for ORD-SIN. I thought that alliances meant they should work together........haha, maybe i think of the world as being too ideal.

Notice that LH and SQ codeshare on all SIN-FRA and MUC flights. Wonder why SQ and UA don't codeshare on all SIN-USA flights. In fact, they don't at all. And Delta is still a partner of SIA, despite the fact GLobal excellence alliance ended some years back. You can still redeem Krisflyer points on DL flights. WOnder what UA has to say about that.
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RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 12:59 pm

Also, I forgot to include this. Isn't UA most upset with SIA flying RIGHT INTO the heart of their home base in ORD? And competing directly with them on ORD-AMS and ORD-SIN? I have a feeling this service could be upgraded to a 4-times weekly 747-400. And I wonder what the agreement between Singapore and Holland is. KLM uses its fifth freedom rights to fly SIN-Jakarta and SIN-SYD. I seriously don't think they make much on the SIN-Jakarta route. SQ now uses its fifth freedom rights to fly AMS-EWR and AMS-ORD. Wonder how KLM feels. I am looking foward to the day SQ flies SIN-LHR-JFK though. And for that matter, so is LH!

RE: Star In Disharmony!? LH/UA Rule!

Tue Jul 03, 2001 1:00 pm

Trust me, the airlines in their respective alliances pat eachother on the back...business is business folks!

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