November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Continental seeks Star membership
Continental Airlines has announced it wishes to leave SkyTeam and join the Star Alliance as it rejigs its global partnerships.
In addition to the alliance news ” a procedure that Continental concedes ”might not be successful” ” the US carrier says it will co-operate extensively with United Airlines to link networks and services.
The move appears to have been driven by the need to secure efficiency savings as the oil price continues to bite into carriers” profits. ”As we experience some of the most challenging conditions airlines have ever faced, we look forward to the benefits of a new relationship with United and the other Star Alliance members,” said Continental chairman and CEO Larry Kellner.
However, there may be considerable complexity for Continental in extricating itself from existing SkyTeam agreements as a statement from the airline outlines. ”Continental intends to terminate its existing contracts with SkyTeam members and obtain the necessary approvals to enter the Star Alliance, although Continental may not be successful,” it reads.
”For example, a principal contractual restriction will not terminate until nine months after the closing of the proposed Delta/Northwest merger. Continental intends to transition out of SkyTeam and into the Star Alliance in a customer friendly manner.”
The cooperation with United will examine potential synergies on issues such as frequent flyer programmes, lounges, IT and procurement. Continental is also seeking approval from the US Department of Transportation to join United - along with Lufthansa, Air Canada and six other carriers in their 'already-established anti-trust immunised alliance.”
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