Get ready for takeoff

Mike Hayes, 08 Mar 2013 14:37

Airlines blog

I recently had a chat with airline industry guru John Strickland.

It was probably 30 seconds before we got onto the subject of Quantas’ new agreement to work with Emirates; we then spent considerably longer musing on how BA (which has had an alliance with Quantas for the past 17 years) might react.

Funnily enough, I later read a couple of news pieces in which BA executives were said to be so ‘furious’ at the development that they were now ending their longstanding code-share agreement in some sort of tit-for-tat measure. BA, it should be said, strenuously deny this claim, with a spokesperson saying: “We are currently transitioning our relationship with Qantas and it’s nonsense to suggest that we are cancelling all our code shares.”

Of course it’s nonsense… ludicrous to suggest there’s a problem. I mean, what’s a few code shares, between friends?

Following my conversation with John, he emailed me and, as much as excitement can be transmitted via email – especially by someone as phlegmatic as John – it’s safe to say he was more than happy to confirm that both Tim Clark (President of Emirates) and Alan Joyce (CEO of Quantas) had agreed to sit down with him (together) for a chat during ATM.

For those of you who were planning to casually swing by during one of John’s seminar sessions, I might suggest something more like a mad dash to grab any available seat would be a better plan.

There are going to be some great sessions in the seminar theatre this year (I have it on very good authority), but there will not be a hotter ticket (ATM really should be selling tickets) in town than seeing two of the heaviest hitters in the airline sector shedding light on not only a monumental industry about-face, but also, I’d imagine, on the wider issue of Gulf airlines suddenly wanting to get into bed with carriers from outside the region.

Can’t wait till May…

Find out more about the session here

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