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Old Dec 16, 10, 12:06 pm
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Then by the same "logic," Saudia may think, if it joins ST, will US invade their country based on a fictitious claim of "WMD" (really only, of course, wanting to get to its oil)? Just ridiculous...
Um, with gas prices approaching (or exceeding $3/gallon, it looks like that plan failed. I don't think the US could try a repeat of that scheme, given the close personal relationship both Darth Cheney and Boi George have with the Saudi Royal Family.
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
(And as if US hasn't done more than its fair share of human rights abuses - just "not on US soil," so then it "doesn't count" and can be all forgotten about and ignored. )
Not sure I follow the logic? Are you saying that, since other countries, like Saudi Arabia, routinely and flagrantly violate even the most basic of human rights, that gives other countries, such as the US to do the same thing? By that logic, if SouthWest is the Saudi Arabia of US airlines, then all US carriers should remove Business & First Class cabins because Southwest offers a 1-class service.
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
The world does not work in a way where one party is somehow given "a God given right" to impose its views and way of life (which is subjective and a matter of choice) on others.

And as for Air Koryo, why not? It doesn't add a great route network, but still, then when flying to North Korea, one can earn SkyMiles the whole way and can buy it as one ticket, vs. flying to PEK or VVO and then fly on Air Koryo on a separate ticket (or, get it all as award ticket, vs. part award and part pay). Sure, 99.9% of SkyTeam pax may not do so, but for the 0.1% that does, it'll be a great benefit.
Again, not really a fan of providing significant support to the North Korean regime. An alliance would most certainly provide economic support to the existing regime. I believe South Korea has been trying to provide the north with economic support. That doesn't seem to be working well.
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
But, of course realistically, this is not going to happen..

ST still has ways to go if it wants to get up to par, and ultimately beat, *A, and it can only do so if it is run as a business, not as an ideological outfit that is in the business of "exporting freedom (i.e., war)." No real business can survive with that goal (well, other than Halliburton and such US defense contractors).
I still don't see the connection between supporting terrorist states who violate human rights and economic benefit to businesses. I can't think of a single example where a free-market business has prospered in the long-term by completely entwining themselves with terrorists. The Haliburton example you offer probably isn't too valid, as Haliburton was/is controlled by Darth Cheney.
Originally Posted by RealHJ View Post
Some other airlines would be nice to see added to ST soon:

* MH as a full fledged member. Likely to come, but keeps getting delayed. Will help obviously with the route network in and around SE Asia, Australia, form Asia to Africa, South America, etc. (Far greater network than the only SE Asia ST member VN.)

* HY. Announced and is to come, just not sure when. HY is working closely with KE and being sponsored by KE. Will add ST presence in Central Asia (with access from US/JFK, EU, and Asia), where currently it has zilch. (A fairly decent route network, though few and far inbetween flights and few dailies, but stil better than nothing. Also more connecting flight options from Asia to Europe.)

* Heh, even a small airline like MIAT Mongolian Airways wouldn't hurt. Now access to ULN is hard on award tickets, really only via KE (few times weekly works out connections wise), but apparently difficulties in ticketing it. Airlines like this have much less broad appeal, but still for the ~0.1% of ST members that fly on their routes, help. And, every little bit helps.

* ST now has no presence in Northern Europe, it's all divvied up to *A and OW. Adding BT as an ST member in EU would help immensely on that and bring aboard a number of Northern EU residents into SkyTeam, adding far more direct routing from Northern Europe to Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia than SkyTeam currently offers (it adds a few hours backtracking to AMS or CDG), and of course the underserved Western/Northern Europe <-> Central Asia routing, BT's current strong point, as well as the other permutations (various small airports in, say, Finland to anywhere in EU, Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa, for example). And, add a lot of unserved destinatons by ST to ST (cities with funky names like Lappeenranta, Kittilä, Ålesund, etc.), while from the few airports that are actually served by ST in Northern EU, much faster routes ___ - RIX - say, AMN, TLV, IST, DUB, SSH, ALA, TAS, etc. than backtracking to CDG, AMS or FCO on ST.

* WJ in Canada...but too late for that, so ST will leave Canada just up to *A and OW now.

* Something more than just Kenya Airlines in Africa (though with Saudia joining SkyTeam, that helps for getting to, just not for getting around within, Africa).

* And definitely something more than just Aerolignas Argentina in South America.

ST still has ways to go. Bringing a new airline into the alliance should be always applauded. After all, each individual has freedom of choice - if you don't want to fly an airline, then don't (then all the more award seats on that new airline for the rest of us...e.g. while some may choose to overpay mid or high mileage level in BE to JNB on DL from ATL, I and I am sure others would fly on Saudia instead if there is low availability via RUH).
Generally, I agree with the concept of "the more the merrier" when it comes to alliances. That does have to be tempered with "if you lie with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas." Consider: I can go to my WalMart SuperCenter and hit the McDonalds in there. Note that, if I go to my local Neiman Marcus, there's no McDonalds. Same thing applies with airline alliances (and it's one of my big beefs about both SkyTeam and the SkyMiles program - no truly superior experiences to spend SkyPesos on).
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