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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Consequences of Strategic Alliances Between International Airlines: The Case of Swissair and SAS

  • Author(s): Youssef, Waleed
  • Hansen, Mark
  • et al.

The impact of the SAS-Swissair strategic alliance on service quality, market concentration, and fares is assessed. Comparison of services before and after the alliance show increases in flights between the SAS and Swissair hubs, in the number of markets in which the alliance airlines offer connecting service, and in the average service frequency offered in these markets. Further, there has been an overall reduction in the layover time associated with SAS-Swissair connecting services. Impacts of market concentration include effective monopolization of non-stop services between the alliance partners’ hubs and a slight reduction in concentration in markets in which the partners offer connecting service. Fares in non-stop markets served by the alliance were found to have increased relative to those in non-alliance non-stop markets, probably due to the increased concentration. Variation in service and fare impacts among alliance airports was found to correlate so that those with the strongest service increases also had the lowest fare increases. Taken as a whole, the results point to the redistribute nature of alliance impacts.

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