Airline Alliances Pros and Cons List

Airline alliances presented a plethora of promises. Many airlines saw a world of opportunities and plunged into strategic alliances. Frequent flyers and the occasional vacationers were also overjoyed. The promises were not unrealistic. Airline alliances promised seamless service networks, reduction in costs, improvement of service quality and availability of more flights on busy and less important routes. Airlines had numerous advantages, from marketing to increased traffic. Airport authorities and almost everyone associated with the civil aviation industry stood to benefit and have indeed been rewarded in many ways. Flyers too have benefits but over the years quite a few airline alliances pros and cons have come to the fore.

List of Pros of Airline Alliances

1. Increased Connectivity for Flyers
Airline alliances have benefited flyers in numerous ways. There are more flights for most routes than ever before. If deregulation promised more flights and more routes then airline alliances took it to a different level altogether. Today, very few cities or towns don’t have airports and only the sparsely populated places have rare or infrequent flights. Most cities are very well connected. Even tier two and tier three cities or towns are well connected now. This wouldn’t have happened if airline alliances were not a success.

2. Windfall Gains for Airlines
Civil aviation is a cost intensive industry. Getting started alone costs a fortune and it costs a fortune to stay afloat, even for a few days. A brief slump can easily cost an airline hundreds and thousands of dollars if not millions. In such an industry, an alliance of some kind was not only desirable but necessary. Today, airline alliances ensure that some companies that wouldn’t be profitable otherwise stand to gain. Those who had been doing well are faring better. Airline alliances have certainly worked well for many companies.

3. Safety & Regulation
Airline alliances assure flyers and the regulatory authorities of a certain standard of safety. It can be fairly expected that any airline joining an alliance will be compelled by its own allies or partnering airlines to live up to their established and expected safety standards.

List of Cons of Airline Alliances

1. Unfulfilled Promises on Airfares
Airline alliances promised to have a positive impact on airfares. That hasn’t really happened. Apart from some long distance routes, the airfares on most flights have been steadily increasing over the years.

2. Compromise in Service
The immediate impact of airline alliances was a compromise in service. In an attempt to stay competitive and to appeal to a much larger market, airlines have not really focused on the luxury elements of flying at the base level.

3. Unhealthy Competition & Lobbying
Airline alliances have at times hurt the competition in the industry. Predatory pricing has been disastrous for new and smaller airlines. Lobbying in the industry has ensured that major airlines put their own profits and interests at the topmost priority instead of larger interests of flyers.