AZ to end AF/KL partnership from january 2017

Old Dec 8, 16, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
As a DL DM, I would love VS to become part of Skyteam or at least enter into full JV with AF/KLM. Right now it sucks. I can get a lot of times better flight times even with a double connect through LHR and onwards through CDG/AMS then going straight to CDG/AMS. However that can only currently be done on separate fares due to JV. One to LHR and one from LHR onward and vice-a-versa.
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Well, it will continue to suck.

VS has no intention of joining Skyteam. And neither VS nor DL have any intention of sharing the lucrative UK-US spoils with their continental "partners" by including them in that particular JV.

Besides, DL pax that want to travel to the European mainland are adequately catered for via AMS, CDG, FCO and MXP. There is no requirement to add the non-Skyteam hub of LHR into that mix -which, as you point out, would add an extra unnecessary stop for all European mainland-bound traffic.
I'm with flyerCO on this one. I'm dreading the switch of SEA-LHR from DL to VS. Not because of any issue with VS. But because I'll no longer be able to buy a ticket for DL SEA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG, which has much better flight times than the DL SEA-CDG nonstop. If I could buy a ticket for VS SEA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG I'd be ok with that. But its not an option.

You can book a DL award ticket that is VS USA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG, but not a paid ticket.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
I'm with flyerCO on this one. I'm dreading the switch of SEA-LHR from DL to VS. Not because of any issue with VS. But because I'll no longer be able to buy a ticket for DL SEA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG, which has much better flight times than the DL SEA-CDG nonstop. If I could buy a ticket for VS SEA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG I'd be ok with that. But its not an option.

You can book a DL award ticket that is VS USA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG, but not a paid ticket.
So the line that these "alliances" and "joint ventures" are for the good of the passenger is revealed to be a lie. Quelle surprise!

Last edited by irishguy28; Dec 8, 16 at 7:24 am Reason: Changed one "lie" to "line"
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Old Dec 8, 16, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
So the line that these "alliances" and "joint ventures" are for the good of the passenger is revealed to be a lie. Quelle surprise!
This is a complete non sequitur. SEA-Flyer's problem is linked to the absence of an agreement, not to the existence of another one: what he would need is fares that allow interlining agreement between VS and AF on this route or at least allow end-to-end on each other.

Even if there was zero agreement between DL and VS and zero agreement between AF and DL, that would still not in itself provide a solution to SEA-Flyer's problem.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 7:42 am
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Read again!

Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
You can book a DL award ticket that is VS USA-LHR connecting to AF LHR-CDG, but not a paid ticket.
The presence of one agreement (DL/AF/KL/AZ) - together with DL/VS's second, sideline agreement and their apparent desire NOT to have one single agreement - prevents the issuance of the desired type of ticket, except as an award redemption.

When VS take over SEA-LHR, it will apparently no longer be possible to buy a revenue SEA-LHR-CDG on a single ticket from Delta/its partners.

And the reason is precisely because of these agreements.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 7:42 am
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For serious professional travelers we can poke holes in the current arrangement, for sure. But for the mass majority it works fine, right? I had some family members book a trip to Athens and Rome. LAX-CDG-ATH-FCO-LAX with the first two legs on AF and the second two on AZ. It worked flawlessly for them and I suspect it would for 90%+ of the public.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Read again!
I have and it still does not make sense to me. I could return the request and ask you to read my post again.

The presence of one agreement (DL/AF/KL/AZ) - together with DL/VS's second, sideline agreement and their apparent desire NOT to have one single agreement - prevents the issuance of the desired type of ticket, except as an award redemption.

When VS take over SEA-LHR, it will apparently no longer be possible to buy a revenue SEA-LHR-CDG on a single ticket from Delta/its partners.

And the reason is precisely because of these agreements.
Nope. AFAIK, there is nothing that would prevent AF and VS to enter into an interlining agreement between themselves. It would have to be outside the JV, of course, but they could conclude such an agreement in exactly the same way as DL and VS do between themselves.

The reason for the absence of agreement between AF and VS is the lack of desire on AF and VS to enter into such an agreement.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
I have and it still does not make sense to me. I could return the request and ask you to read my post again.

Nope. AFAIK, there is nothing that would prevent AF and VS to enter into an interlining agreement between themselves. It would have to be outside the JV, of course, but they could conclude such an agreement in exactly the same way as DL and VS do between themselves.
There is nothing to prevent any two airlines anywhere from entering into an interline agreement.

The fact that such an agreement between third parties suddenly becomes necessary to preserve the status quo due to the actions of Delta indicate that the agreements that Delta is bound to are not customer friendly.

(The fact that the ventures are immunised already makes this abundantly clear, anyway. Without the immunisation, they would often be found to be anti-competitive).

But the problem here is not that VS and DL are merely interlining - they are operating an immunised joint-venture. I don't know if you are being facetious, or if you really mean that AF and VS could conclude "such an agreement in exactly the same way as DL and VS do between themselves", namely an immunised joint venture that would require approval from both the EC and the US.

But my point is that the customer is impacted when, due the actions of airline A, it becomes necessary for airlines B and C to do something - enter into an agreement - to preserve the full breadth of tickets that airline A formerly offered, but no longer wants to.

Originally Posted by NickB View Post
The reason for the absence of agreement between AF and VS is the lack of desire on AF and VS to enter into such an agreement.
That is not doubted - but that is also beside the point. It is the manoeuvering of Delta - here clearly the guilty party - that, to preserve their "customer-friendly" joint ventures, has restricted the range of tickets that they are now willing to sell. Which, for me, can only be explained by their unwillingness to co-mingle their several joint venture on a single revenue ticket, in a way that ends up further restricting customer choice.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
There is nothing to prevent any two airlines anywhere from entering into an interline agreement.

The fact that such an agreement between third parties suddenly becomes necessary to preserve the status quo due to the actions of Delta indicate that the agreements that Delta is bound to are not customer friendly.
Is "non-sequitur" your middle-name? You seem to specialise in these.

You simply cannot assume that the decision of an airline in a JV agreement to switch an aircraft to another route and let a partner serve the route instead is customer-hostile. There is nothing a priori customer hostile to shift an aircraft from SEA-LHR to, say, LAX-LHR. Sure, some individuals will not like it and others will be happy with it. But that does NOT make it customer-hostile.

The fact that the ventures are immunised already makes this abundantly clear, anyway. Without the immunisation, they would often be found to be anti-competitive).
Uh, no. It does not make this clear. It is indeed the case that the point of immunisation is to render lawful an agreement which would otherwise be unlawful due to its anti-competitive effect. It does not follow from this, however, that the agreement as a whole is customer-hostile, still less every single individual decision taken by the airlines that are party to the agreement. Immunisation is premised on the benefit to consumers outweighing the potential advantages that more competition would bring. It is of course always open to debate how to quantify certain benefits to consumers vs others and overall increase consumer benefits does not translate into every single consumer in every single situation being better off. But that does not mean that we can equate loss of competition = loss for consumers in every case.

But the problem here is not that VS and DL are merely interlining - they are operating an immunised joint-venture. I don't know if you are being facetious, or if you really mean that AF and VS could conclude "such an agreement in exactly the same way as DL and VS do between themselves", namely an immunised joint venture that would require approval from both the EC and the US.
No, that is not what I meant: what I meant is that AF/VS could conclude an interlining agreement like DL/VS do. Sure, the VS/DL is more extensive but that is irrelevant for present purposes. AF/VS certainly do not need to enter into a full blown JV. They can simply agree to conclude a passenger interlining agreement on the route.

But my point is that the customer is impacted when, due the actions of airline A, it becomes necessary for airlines B and C to do something - enter into an agreement - to preserve the full breadth of tickets that airline A formerly offered, but no longer wants to.
My understanding is that DL is still selling the same range of SEA-CDG tickets. Sure, you will not be able to route it SEA-LHR-CDG if SEA-LHR is VS-operated. But again, some passengers will be inconvenienced by that but other passengers will benefit from the reallocation of the aircraft to another route.

That is not doubted - but that is also beside the point. It is the manoeuvering of Delta - here clearly the guilty party - that, to preserve their "customer-friendly" joint ventures, has restricted the range of tickets that they are now willing to sell. Which, for me, can only be explained by their unwillingness to co-mingle their several joint venture on a single revenue ticket, in a way that ends up further restricting customer choice.
Oh, come on: "manoeuvering" ? I know that conspiracy theories are all the rage in the Trumpian "post-truth" era but DL's decision to reallocate an aircraft from the SEA-LHR route to another route is not ""manoeuvring" by any stretch of the imagination. DL is not out to get SEA-CDG and clamp down on individuals connecting via LHR.

The rather more mundane and boring truth is that shedule changes happen all the time and some suit some people and not others.

In truth, what you ultimately object to is that VS is not included in the wider JV. This is hardly an argument establishing that JVs are inherently anti-consumer.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
My understanding is that DL is still selling the same range of SEA-CDG tickets. Sure, you will not be able to route it SEA-LHR-CDG if SEA-LHR is VS-operated. But again, some passengers will be inconvenienced by that but other passengers will benefit from the reallocation of the aircraft to another route.
Yeah, they've still selling tickets. But the tickets aren't really equivalent.
A 1PMish departure from SEA where I can only work a couple hours before heading to the airport, only sleep for 90 minutes in flight and get into CDG at 8:30AM and be a zombie all day long, isn't comparable to an almost 7PM departure from SEA where I can work nearly a full day, sleep 6 hours in flight and get to CDG at 6pm, go to bed and be rested and ready to roll the next morning.

I don't mind that DL moved the aircraft. I'd be perfectly happy to fly VS and/or AF. But I can't.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
I don't mind that DL moved the aircraft. I'd be perfectly happy to fly VS and/or AF. But I can't.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 3:09 pm
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VS and AF do interline. It's what is required to issue even an award ticket that covers both. However a paid ticket going through LHR on EITHER VS or DL can't be issued. The JV with AF/KLM/AZ requires sharing on TATL routes. An exception was carved so that DL could enter into a JV with VS. Thus revenue on TATL to UK is now shared with DL/VS. Thus there's no way to issue a ticket for by DL through LHR for money.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
Great post, totally agree. Amongst the main causes contributing to AZ [financial] misfortunes, the confined long-haul network (which has been shrinking further over the years and since the airline decided to abandon MXP) plays a predominant role, hence if you are in a position where your expansion plans are somehow curbed by long-standing agreements, then no wonder why AZ is re-considering their options. It is painfully obvious that, in a market which is highly influenced by fierce competitions from low-cost carriers (and to such great extent), a network which concentrates mostly on short and medium haul is simply recipe for disaster.

G
but you cannot blame the transatlantic JV for the shrinking long-haul network of AZ. Their long-haul network shrinked only because of AZ own problems. Outside North America (so without any influence of the JV), AZ could have launched or increased frequency to any other city/region, but they could not do it before EY arrived and injected tons of money and continue to do so.
AZ blaming the JV is a bit like the EU member states blaming EU/Brussels for all their internal problems, while 90% of their problems are purely domestic and reflect their incapacity to make reforms and to adapt to changes of the environment.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
VS and AF do interline. It's what is required to issue even an award ticket that covers both. However a paid ticket going through LHR on EITHER VS or DL can't be issued. The JV with AF/KLM/AZ requires sharing on TATL routes. An exception was carved so that DL could enter into a JV with VS. Thus revenue on TATL to UK is now shared with DL/VS. Thus there's no way to issue a ticket for by DL through LHR for money.
That's correct.
AF and VS did have a general ticket interline agreement as most legacy airlines do. I remember a few years back buying a CDG-LHR-LAX return ticket in Business at an attractive discount price on VS, where the first and last legs were operated by AF (CDG-LHR-CDG). This interline agreement is probably still valid.
But the conclusion of the JV between DL and VS required DL and VS to restrict it to the point of making it lose most substance, as stressed by flyerCO.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 4:08 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
VS and AF do interline. It's what is required to issue even an award ticket that covers both. However a paid ticket going through LHR on EITHER VS or DL can't be issued. The JV with AF/KLM/AZ requires sharing on TATL routes. An exception was carved so that DL could enter into a JV with VS. Thus revenue on TATL to UK is now shared with DL/VS. Thus there's no way to issue a ticket for by DL through LHR for money.
Are you saying that this is as an indirect result of DL dallying in two separate Joint Ventures?

Or are VS and AF somehow at fault, despite having an interline agreement?
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Old Dec 9, 16, 4:33 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
but you cannot blame the transatlantic JV for the shrinking long-haul network of AZ. Their long-haul network shrinked only because of AZ own problems. Outside North America (so without any influence of the JV), AZ could have launched or increased frequency to any other city/region, but they could not do it before EY arrived and injected tons of money and continue to do so.
AZ blaming the JV is a bit like the EU member states blaming EU/Brussels for all their internal problems, while 90% of their problems are purely domestic and reflect their incapacity to make reforms and to adapt to changes of the environment.
But I wasn't blaming the JV, at all: in fact, in one of my previous posts, I clearly stated that AZ would still be better off in it. I was, instead, asserting (on the same wavelength as irishguy28) that the alleged restrictions which are preventing AZ to expand in North America (see LAX all-year round, SFO etc.) may prove to be detrimental or yet another nail in the coffin for AZ, simple as that and without any conspiracy theory stating otherwise.

Concerning the EU misfortunes: I blame it all on Brexit!

G
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