Top 5 LCCs that belong in a global alliance
Now that the dam has been breached and Oneworld is welcoming a low-cost carrier into its membership, the obvious question is: Who’s next?
Not just any airline will do. The aggressive n0-frills strategy of Spirit or Ryanair would be an uneasy fit alongside Swiss, Qantas, Korean or other airlines that emphasize high levels of service.
Airlines that balance low fares and high quality are relatively scarce, so you can bet the phones are already ringing in company headquarters around the world. Now that Air Berlin is already committed, the “most-wanted” list might look something like this:
- AirAsia. It’s picked up back-to-back World Airline Awards from Skytrax, and it’s a force to be reckoned with in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
- JetBlue. Steady growth, devoted fliers and a distinctive brand makes this airline a prize for any alliance.
- Gol. Brazil’s low-cost leader has one of the most extensive networks in South America, and its more upscale Varig unit makes it an appealing choice for business travelers.
- WestJet. Many of the same advantages as JetBlue, but a West Coast bias makes this Canadian LCC more attractive as a feeder on Asian routes.
- Air Arabia. A tough call for the final slot, but Air Arabia could be attractive as a toehold in a part of the world where alliance members are scarce-to-nonexistent.
What do you think? Any LCCs you’d especially like to see in an alliance? And more importantly, perhaps, which alliance would most benefit from the addition of a discounter (or two)?