No Philippine Carrier in Star Alliance For Now


STAR ALLIANCE, the world’s largest alliance of airlines, said it will not accept a local carrier for now, especially Philippine Airlines, Inc. because it may “cannibalize” existing members.

“There is no immediate need to be focusing on recruiting a member from the Philippines,” Star Alliance Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Goh told a media briefing yesterday in New World Makati Hotel.

“Clearly, if you just think about the network of Philippine Airlines today, they have overlapping services with some of our members.”

He said before the 28-member bloc accepts a new entrant, they ensure that it will not “cannibalize existing ones.”

Philippine Airlines has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Star Alliance, which targets “high-value international travellers,” sees an opportunity to expand its network in the country, even if growth prospects lies mainly on low-cost carriers.

“Our members are constantly looking at ways to expand the network whenever that is possible,” Mr. Goh said. “Of course, Manila isn’t the center of the earth in a way, that there has to be a very strong proposition for our members to operate in Manila.”

Star Alliance, which is driven by network coverage, currently has no budget airline as its member as these are usually point-to-point carriers.

However, Mr. Goh said they are planning to tie-up with low-cost carriers in India and Brazil under its “connecting partner model.” This is to boost coverage in huge markets where existing members are not present.

The group provides frequent flyers with priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling, as well as airport lounge access and extra baggage allowance, among others.

At the same time, member airlines benefit through additional revenue generation and cost reduction. They also work on fuel, fleet coordination, co-location and information technology projects.

Source: Daphne J. Magturo, http://www.bworldonline.com

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