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Is a low-cost carrier alliance possible?

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A bilateral interline is likely – a broader alliance less so
Norwegian’s chief executive has been speaking in recent months about an alliance between Europe’s low-cost carriers. But although an interline agreement with Ryanair is possible by the end of 2017, a broader LCC alliance is less likely, CAPA reports.
Discussions between Norwegian and Ryanair have been taking place for many months, the benefit for passengers being easier connections and with a single ticket – particularly to Norwegian’s long-haul operations.
CEO Bjørn Kjos has also said he can also foresee an alliance between Europe’s four leading independent LCCs, Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian and Wizz Air, with interlining and connections between Norwegian’s long haul and the others’ short and medium haul.
But Ryanair and easyJet would have little to gain from such a deal as they are so much bigger than Norwegian. Wizz, meanwhile, already has more routes in Europe than Norwegian and unhindered access to Central and Eastern Europe.
Each LCC has a strong brand and nothing to gain from adding an alliance brand. There would also be complexity and cost in readjusting schedules and baggage transfer systems. At the moment, IAG or Lufthansa Group would give Ryanair more connections than Norwegian.
So while interlining may gradually become accepted by the LCCs, an alliance involving Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian seems unlikely.
CAPA

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