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.