An alliance in the aviation industry is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate or form a partnership for a purpose. Over the years, there have been different global airline alliances. Such as Skyteam alliance, Oneworld alliance, Value alliance, Vanilla alliance, U-Fly alliance, and Star Alliance.
Lufthansa, Air Canada, United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, and Thai Airways formed the Star Alliance in 1997. It is now the largest commercial airline alliance in the world at the moment with 26 members. While Oneworld alliance is the smallest international airline alliance. American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and Canadian Airlines/Air Canada founded the Oneworld alliance in 1999 but now stands strong with 14 airlines. The Skyteam alliance was a cargo alliance that extended into commercial flights. It was founded by Delta, Air France, AeroMéxico, and Korean air and has now grown into a partnership between 19 airlines worldwide.
The benefits of an airline alliance include improved service delivery and customer satisfaction. Airlines do this through Codeshare flights, points-and-miles, shared services, and benefits. Codeshare is when an airline allows you to buy seats from not only theirs but from other airlines they share an alliance with to a similar destination and flight schedule. Points and miles are travel rewards given to frequent fliers with an airline. They help travellers save cash. Points and miles are like cryptocurrencies. Travellers trade them in to cover expenses like flight tickets or hotel accommodation.
The first alliance in Nigeria was the Dana-Ibom Air alliance. These two indigenous airlines signed a partnership on the 21st of May 2021. It was a Codeshare alliance to offer more route options, schedule options, and easy connectivity for the flying public between the two airlines. On the 8th of March 2022, six local airlines formed a new alliance in the Nigerian aviation industry. It is called the Spring Alliance, and they formed it to tackle flight delays and cancellations. It was a pact between Arik, Air Peace, Azman, Aero, Max Air, and United Nigerian airlines. This alliance is a call for improved service delivery. We consider it revolutionary because airline alliances in Nigeria are novel.
The need for the spring alliance arose in response to the many complaints from passengers concerning the challenges facing the aviation industry. For example, if an airline within the alliance is having issues with its flight to a certain destination and there is another airline going there, the airline can transfer the passengers to the next airline without delay and with no additional cost to the passenger. The goal of this alliance is to create seamless and efficient service delivery to improve passenger satisfaction. The beauty of this alliance is that they did not restrict it to Nigerian airlines only. Other airlines in Africa and the world are welcome to join in this alliance.
Fingers crossed as we await the implementation of the Spring alliance. We look forward to positive feedback from beneficiaries of this historic move in Nigeria’s aviation industry.
The Guardian Ng
Sunnews OnlineFeatured image source: The Nation Newspaper
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