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Air France

Alaska Airlines Ends Partnership with Air France, KLM

Alaska Airlines Ends Partnership with Air France, KLM
Anya Kartashova

First, Delta Air Lines. Then, Aeroméxico. Alaska Airlines is dropping its SkyTeam partners like crazy, and now the airline is parting ways with two more SkyTeam carriers, Air France and KLM.

Effective April 30, the partnership between the airlines will end. If you have booked Air France/KLM flights before Dec. 5 for any travel date and entered your Mileage Plan number, you will receive mileage credits as per usual earning chart. Tickets booked on or after Dec. 6 will earn Mileage Plan credit on travel through April 30. Tickets purchased on or after Dec. 6 for travel beginning May 1 will earn no Alaska miles.

Breaking up with KLM/Air France leaves Alaska with several other partners that fly to Europe, including British Airways, Condor, Finnair and Icelandair. Unfortunately, British Airways imposes high fuel surcharges on award tickets, and the other three airlines can’t compete with Air France and KLM’s coverage of the continent.

“Our other global partners serve all of the top destinations members have earned miles to in the past with Air France, but we recognize that this change leaves a gap in coverage to some small European destinations,” Alaska Airlines stated on its website. “Europe continues to be a key focus area, served by partners including British Airways, Icelandair, Condor, and Finnair, and we’ll continue to evaluate additional partnerships to serve your needs both to and within Europe.”

It’s no secret that Delta has competed with Alaska for its Seattle market for years. Now that Delta and Alaska are no longer partners, losing other SkyTeam partners doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. Earlier this year, Delta launched a joint venture with Aeroméxico, which affected Mexico’s airline’s partnership with Alaska. Additionally, Delta invested in Air France by purchasing a 10-percent equity stake, which has likely affected Alaska’s partnership with the latter carrier as well.

Losing so many partners in a short time period doesn’t bode well for Alaska Airlines and Mileage Plan, but not being part of an airline alliance also means the ability to partner with other non-SkyTeam airlines.

View Comments (6)

6 Comments

  1. Erik Jacobsen

    December 8, 2017 at 10:05 am

    This makes Alaska’s decision to virtually end its partnership with American look even stupider. Especially as the two major airlines Alaska is touting as alternatives to AirFrance/KLM (British Airways and Finnair) are loyal OneWorld partners with cozy relationships with American.

    This latest move, combined with the continued collapse of service following the Virgin America acquisition, makes me think nobody’s actually driving the car over there. Needless to say, I will not be renewing my 75k next year. JetBlue and American have supplanted Alaska for me.

  2. robsaw

    December 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    The change to the partnership between Alaska and American was a mutual decision most likely driven more by AA than AS and included elements required to get regulatory approval for the merger with Virgin America. AA saw AS moving more into their territory, so pushing back on the Alaska partnership is hardly surprising.

    Now, we also see Westjet and Delta proposing a JV for US-Canada cross-border traffic that could put more competition on AS’s cross-border routes.

  3. drvannostren

    December 9, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Really hopeful they partner up with some other airlines. If the options left to Europe are super high surcharge or virtually LCC then it pretty much eliminates Europe as a place to use the miles.

  4. davistev

    December 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    MMMM – I guess we can still at least fly from Vienna to Zurich on Korean Airlines.

  5. jvquarterback

    December 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

    So if I purchased AF for next summer but haven’t added my Alaska FF number am I out of luck?

  6. jiburi

    December 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Is this what happened? I beg to differ.

    I believe it was AirFrance/KLM that called it off, with the push from Delta, rather than Alaska Airlines.

    Alaska is not one that complain about airline alliance affiliation. They have members from variety of alliance including members of Skyteam, Star, and One World. It’s more like, Delta is luring its partner away from Alaska Airlines to remain competitive advantage over Alaska.

    I think the wording of your articles is completely wrong, and likely the effort of Delta which is behind the partnership termination.

    Jiburi

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