Back in 2015, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa announced the creation of a Joint Venture, which would cover all of the Lufthansa/Swiss/Singapore Airlines operations between Germany/Switzerland and Singapore. At that point, the airline’s commented:
Flights between Singapore and both Frankfurt and Munich, as well as flights between Singapore and Zurich, are to be operated under revenue-sharing arrangements. New SIA-operated flights between Singapore and Düsseldorf, which are to be launched in July 2016, will also be covered under such arrangements.
The two airline groups also intend to co-operate in key markets in Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia, co-ordinating schedules to provide customers more convenient connections between route networks, offering joint fare promotions, aligning corporate programmes to strengthen the proposition to corporate customers, and exploring enhancements to existing frequent-flyer programme ties.
In addition to SIA and Lufthansa, the agreement includes SIA subsidiary SilkAir, and Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss.
The expanded codeshare ties will provide SIA customers with convenient access to and from points in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, via the transfer hubs of Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, with more than 20 new codeshare routes. Lufthansa and Swiss will in turn codeshare with SIA and regional arm SilkAir on more routes serving destinations in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Codeshare co-operation is expected to be expanded to more destinations in future.
This, on the back of continued hammering by the middle-eastern airlines which were disrupting their business for a period of time.
The Joint Venture was confirmed by the Singapore CCS in December 2016. It has now been confirmed that the Joint Venture will launch on October 1. They have also increased the territories under coverage, adding Australia on SIA’s end, and Austria & Belgium on the other end of Lufthansa.
From the press release issued:
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Lufthansa Group have confirmed 1 October 2017 as the launch date for their joint venture co-operation covering flights between Singapore, Australia and Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.
Customers can choose from a wider range of travel itineraries and fare products that will be progressively offered by the airlines under the joint venture agreement.
Since November 2015, when both airline groups signed the joint venture agreement, they have expanded capacity between Singapore and both Germany and Switzerland. This includes the introduction of new SIA-operated flights between Singapore and Dusseldorf in July 2016. In March 2017, SWISS deployed its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on daily flights between Singapore and Zurich. Lufthansa has also announced plans to re-introduce services between Singapore and Munich from March 2018.
These benefits will further enhance existing Star Alliance arrangements that customers enjoy on SIA, Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines. On the same date, flights operated by SIA, Lufthansa and SWISS between Singapore and Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich will be included in a revenue-sharing agreement between the two airline groups.
The two airline groups have also significantly increased codeshare ties, with over 130 city pairs now offered between key markets in Europe, Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific.
While JVs almost always mean that pricing power goes away because two airlines now work together rather than against each other to win the same customers. In this case, it also does mean that customers will almost always get to choose the better product of Singapore Airlines over Lufthansa if needed.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out for the Star Alliance behemoths.