Issue No. 809

Are Alliances Back in Style?

What Does Alaska Airlines' Decision to Join Oneworld Tell Us About the Future of Alliances?

Pushing Back: Inside This Issue

Are alliances back in style? In recent years, some airlines and analysts have said the industry has moved beyond alliances and toward a future of bilateral agreements between unaligned carriers. But Alaska Airlines' decision to join the Oneworld alliance flouts that thinking and shows there's still potential in the old model.

Meanwhile, Air Canada's called off its acquisition of Transat, citing "onerous" relief measures demanded by the European Commission. More airlines are adding even more leisure routes, chasing whatever traffic there may be. Airports in the U.S. could get $25 billion if President Joseph Biden's infrastructure bill is approved. Delta CEO Ed Bastian had a rough week, facing blowback from all sides over his comments on Georgia's new elections law. And airlines seem confident the summer will be the start of the recovery. But with fresh outbreaks of the Covid-19 pandemic in all corners of the world, might that optimism be misplaced?


"We cannot afford to be locked out of that market [China]. There is nothing good that comes from restricted trade for the Boeing Co."

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun

The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

New episodes drop every Thursday on our site or wherever you get your podcasts. In the latest episode, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss the evolving role for chief executives — like Delta's Ed Bastian on Georgia's new elections law — who find themselves having to weigh in on thorny social and political issues.

Weekly Skies

Air Canada and Transat on April 2 called off their planned merger, citing “onerous” remedies the European Commission (EC) required for the deal to conclude.

Sky Money

The U.S. Treasury is beginning to turn a profit from the loans it provided airlines under the CARES Act coronavirus relief package. American Airlines and Sun Country Airlines both repaid their loans at the end of March, with a new…


At least one lessor believes the low-cost, long-haul model could work, even with so many doubters in recent years. AerCap is leasing nine Boeing 787s to Norse Atlantic Airways that will form the backbone of the startup carrier's fleet when…

Routes and Networks

There was a day not too long ago that regional carrier CommutAir flew only Dash 8 turboprops on thin hops in the northeast for United Airlines. That day is long gone. Last week, the regional airline opened its fourth hub…

State of the Unions

United Airlines will begin hiring pilots again after a year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, therefore becoming the first major U.S. carrier to do so ahead of what is forecast to be a strong summer for leisure travel.

Landing Strip

President Joseph Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure improvement plan has $25 billion set aside for airports, which may not be enough to answer the country's airport improvement needs and does not address the overdue investments in air traffic control infrastructure, two…

Feature Story

The network of global airline alliances got a vote of confidence last week when Alaska Airlines became the 14th full member of Oneworld with a snazzy new safety video to boot.