The whole campaign against Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar made sense for Delta. Notice that it wasn’t a campaign against Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and Saudia which is state subsidized and larger than Etihad but which partners with Delta. The US has an Open Skies agreement with Saudi Arabia, too.
It was hypocritical to be sure, even aside from the huge subsidies like moving billions in pension liabilities onto the federal government and becoming arguably the most profitable airline in the world while not having to pay taxes ‘in cash’ until at least next year. But it made sense. Less competition with Delta is good for Delta.
And it made sense for United, as long as United didn’t stick its neck too far out after losing its CEO in a scandal over bribing a government employee for official action which makes it awkward to argue that other airlines are the ones too intertwined with government. United flies to India and has access to the Indian market via its alliance partner Air India.
But it never really made sense for American which hasn’t itself flown to India since just after it went into bankruptcy six years ago but benefited from reach into the India, Pakistan, and surrounding markets via partnerships with Qatar and Etihad. The Etihad partnership had even grown closer since it was first established.
American was talked out of its codeshares with Etihad and Qatar because it was awkward to partner closely while arguing that they’re harmful to U.S. interests. American lost its Gulf Air partnership too.
Those losses are especially felt because American lost its India reach when Delta outfoxed American and blocked its Jet Airways relationship. Now Delta is outmaneuvering American again with a WestJet joint venture and now American is losing its reach into Canada too.
Copyright: dennizn / 123RF Stock Photo
The WestJet-American partnership will terminate July 31.
SkyMiles members learned a long time ago that Delta is not your friend. Delta does what’s best for Delta.
American didn’t learn this when Delta told it to them pulling out of industry lobbying group Airlines for American with Doug Parker as its Chairman because its lobbying interests diverged from other airlines.
American hadn’t learned its lesson as recently as this summer. If they didn’t learn it in November with the loss of Jet Airways maybe they’ll learn it now as the only major U.S. airline left without a Canadian partner.
Delta loves subsidies when they’re for Bombardier C-Series jets. They love subsidies when they’re Georgia fuel tax abatements or benefit their Pennsylvania oil refinery. Delta does what’s best for Delta. Their position is subsidies which benefit Delta are good, while subsidies that don’t benefit Delta are bad. Other airlines that sign onto Delta’s agenda are played for fools.