Global airline alliances supports the rapid growth of global travelers created by open trade in other industries. On the customer side, alliances boost efficiency in standards of service in the airline industry, frequent flyer program benefits, access to lounges for member flyers, and offer passengers an extended network through code sharing agreements, where two or more airlines share the same flight, entry in their reservation systems; making the booking easier and moving between connections more efficient. This method also reduces flight times, streamline operational costs, lower ticket prices (though of course alliances may also fail to compete on certain routes or even have the opposite effect occasionally).
Airline alliances and their behaviors are continuously evolving – whether they are new strategic partnerships or mergers. The industry may expect several notable changes among the major alliances this year. The bigger isn’t always the better, so deciding on the best alliance for your travel requirements depend on some careful research based on factors that affect your travel plans the most, like the frequency of your travel, destinations you fly the most, air-fare basis, class earnings between airline partners, and whether the alliance members actually release rewards availability on the routes you fly.
During my previous job, I used to get a lot of complaints from frequent flyers regarding earnings on mileage activity from partner airlines. Remember, before you book tickets or fly, always check the policies for partner airlines and alliances to make sure you are aware of all mileage earning policies and opportunities.
I have broken it down into the three main airline alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance. Here’s a quick table outlining the scope of each alliance including daily departures, airlines, countries, destinations an annual passenger loads.
Oneworld: Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Australia, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and TAM Airlines
SkyTeam: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines
Star Alliance: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines
|Annual Passengers||512.8 million||665.4 million||641.10 million|
Just a quick note: These statistics are based on prospective alliance membership as of December 31, 2015, so they are subject to change based on route network consolidation.