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Saudi Arabian Airlines to join Skyteam?

Saudi Arabian Airlines to join Skyteam?

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Old Dec 16, 10, 12:06 pm
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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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Old Dec 16, 10, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
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).
That may be true, but what matters to the vast majority of SM members, I'm sure, is the actual route network and destinations available. For most flying is about getting from point A to B. And for that, "the more the merrier."

I think there is no problem with an alliance having both "five star" members (but you're right, none come to mind on that for ST - KE and MH are good, but at best "four star" if not "three and a half star") as well as "one star" ones (HY comes to mind - their cups are so leaky, that usually when you get a drink it needs to be not just double but triple cupped so it won't leak out - but hey, they still get you from point A to point B in a 767 no worse than the Delta fleet; that is, if you don't feel irrationally squeamish after an announcement such as "This is Captain Mohammad Al-Islam Muhammed, we are coming down on New York right now." (in a thick accent) - not word-for-word, but about how I remember it when HY101 started its descent into JFK, the one time I flew them RIX-JFK (the TAS-RIX-JFK/JFK-RIX-TAS route, HY101/HY102)). There also, the more variety, the better, and it's up to the passenger to choose whether they pick comfort or convenience/best route/shortest flight.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by LADELTA777 View Post
PS, Is this April yet ?
No, not yet. SV will sign the agreement with Skyteam member of the boards. SV will eventually to joining into SkyTeam sometimes in January 2011.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 1:05 pm
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SV Joining SkyTeam

Originally Posted by n710dn View Post
Came across this article today and was surprised to see what was written: http://arabnews.com/economy/article215610.ece

Any opinions on how Saudia will positively impact ST?
I am fine with this. SV is a solid airline that I have used when I lived in the Kingdom for many years. If you work for the government or if they given you a ticket, you will be on SV.

Two potential problems on long flights: parents who think it is OK for young children to run around and bother us. Also, no hooch.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 1:14 pm
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the OP writes about SV joining an alliance and immediately, some go into militant mode and make bigoted comments about the ethnicity and religion of Saudi. Some of you are even planning not to use SkyTeam because of this---a moronic gesture at best. I dont think FlyerTalkers should discriminate any airline, and should keep the politics separated. Airlines are airlines...they bridge communities and help each other get to lands so far distant, that we would no way get there by any other means. Just because you dont agree with the policies of another people, doesn't mean your polices are always right.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
it greatly disturbs me to see the flag carrier of a nation that sponsors flagrant human rights abuses and has murky governmental connections to terrorist organization is seriously being considered by Delta and their SkyTeam Partners. I hope Delta is strongly resisting this new "direction" from Paris.
Those who get greatly disturbed by that which you note above would need to avoid flying SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld alliance carriers as there isn't a flag carrier amongst them whose government hasn't in some form sponsored flagrant human rights abuses and is free of murky governmental connections to terrorist organizations. Even the Scandinavian and Swiss flag carriers fly the flags of their respective government which are not free of sponsoring human rights abuses and having murky governmental connections to terrorist organizations.

Saudi Arabia is but a client state of the US in so many ways -- it just happens to be a US satellite whose royal family gets special privileges for making it so for the US and the US's favorites.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 9:12 pm
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SV is a solid airline. I flew them in April on IAD-RUH after the volcano nixed my CDG connection. USB ports at every seat in Y, PTVs with American TV shows (though with much more bleeped out than on US TV), and 34" of legroom. Plus a steak in coach on my 75 minute RUH-DXB flight with them. And while I don't agree with all their government's policies, most of the people I met in the Kingdom were great people.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by mrx900 View Post
the OP writes about SV joining an alliance and immediately, some go into militant mode and make bigoted comments about the ethnicity and religion of Saudi. Some of you are even planning not to use SkyTeam because of this---a moronic gesture at best. I dont think FlyerTalkers should discriminate any airline, and should keep the politics separated. Airlines are airlines...they bridge communities and help each other get to lands so far distant, that we would no way get there by any other means. Just because you dont agree with the policies of another people, doesn't mean your polices are always right.
Please don't mis-interpret my comments. I was not directly criticizing Arabs (ethnicity), nor was I criticizing Islam (religion). I was explicitly criticizing the government and government institutions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia is documented as practicing institutionalized barbaric human rights abuses. Further, there has been significant evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia is directly and/or indirectly subsidizing terrorists who have attacked and continue to attack US citizens and property. No, I don't want to give more of my money than I absolutely have to, to a government that, by their own actions, is inimical to the existence of my country, my fellow citizens, and basic human freedoms that should be enjoyed by everyone.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Those who get greatly disturbed by that which you note above would need to avoid flying SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld alliance carriers as there isn't a flag carrier amongst them whose government hasn't in some form sponsored flagrant human rights abuses and is free of murky governmental connections to terrorist organizations. Even the Scandinavian and Swiss flag carriers fly the flags of their respective government which are not free of sponsoring human rights abuses and having murky governmental connections to terrorist organizations.

Saudi Arabia is but a client state of the US in so many ways -- it just happens to be a US satellite whose royal family gets special privileges for making it so for the US and the US's favorites.
Um, you're equating the human rights record of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to the record of Saudi Arabia? I must have missed the last public removal of a thief's hand by a "medical doctor" when I was in Oslo. And when did they last execute men for being homosexuals in Stockholm? Obviously, as an American, I accept that there is a degree of ambiguity in the word and nothing is perfectly black and white (not even the Vatican). On the other hand, there's a difference between light-to-medium grey and pitch black streaked with blood-red.
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Old Dec 16, 10, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
Please don't mis-interpret my comments. I was not directly criticizing Arabs (ethnicity), nor was I criticizing Islam (religion). I was explicitly criticizing the government and government institutions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia is documented as practicing institutionalized barbaric human rights abuses. Further, there has been significant evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia is directly and/or indirectly subsidizing terrorists who have attacked and continue to attack US citizens and property. No, I don't want to give more of my money than I absolutely have to, to a government that, by their own actions, is inimical to the existence of my country, my fellow citizens, and basic human freedoms that should be enjoyed by everyone.
So what does any of that have to do with SV joining SkyTeam?
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Old Dec 16, 10, 11:43 pm
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I guess all the posters here claiming that it's such a "solid" airline aren't female.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
Um, you're equating the human rights record of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to the record of Saudi Arabia?
Equating? No, that's not it. It's called noting how the standard of blacklisting airlines based on the carrier's home country government(s) having materially supported terrorists and engaging in human rights abuses -- such as sending people to get tortured -- would result in being grounded since all of the countries named in this thread have materially supported terrorists and engaged in human rights abuses. Saudi Arabia ain't no saint on the global stage, nor are the governments of the other countries mentioned in this thread -- pretending that any of them are saints is to be blinded to reality.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 2:49 am
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
it greatly disturbs me to see the flag carrier of a nation that sponsors flagrant human rights abuses and has murky governmental connections to terrorist organization.
But you are ok with China Southern? How is China's human rights record? They sell weapons to "terror states" (but only as defined by the USA).
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Old Dec 17, 10, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Equating? No, that's not it. It's called noting how the standard of blacklisting airlines based on the carrier's home country government(s) having materially supported terrorists and engaging in human rights abuses -- such as sending people to get tortured -- would result in being grounded since all of the countries named in this thread have materially supported terrorists and engaged in human rights abuses. Saudi Arabia ain't no saint on the global stage, nor are the governments of the other countries mentioned in this thread -- pretending that any of them are saints is to be blinded to reality.
I'm certainly not saying any country is a "saint" or above reproach (well, perhaps Monaco ). I would just rather not support a state-controlled airline of a country that is as exrreme and inimical to US interests as Saudi Arabia is.

On the other hand, if you want to willingly give your money to the state-controlled airline of a country that practices public beheadings, considers homosexuality a serious mental illness and crime, and denies women basic human rights, go right ahead. It's (kind of) a free country
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Old Dec 17, 10, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by DesertNomad View Post
But you are ok with China Southern? How is China's human rights record? They sell weapons to "terror states" (but only as defined by the USA).
Tell you what, lets not use the USA as a benchmark here (you'll note that I've carefully not tried to wrap my case in the "Stars and Stripes"). My point isn't that "I'm better than you", or "my country is better than your pathetic, flea-bitten, 12th century hovel". Those are stupid positions. My point is that there are certain basic human rights and principles that should serve as common benchmarks.

Bottom line: I'd rather not support the state-controlled airline of a country that institutionally discriminates against women and has a barbaric justice system with inhumane "punishments" for activities that few rational people would even consider to be crimes.
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