Alitalia and ANA are linking up…further proof of the waning power of alliances.
Until recently, Alitalia and ANA would have been viewed as strange bedfellows. Alitalia is a member of SkyTeam and ANA a member of Star Alliance.
But starting on October 28, 2018, Alitalia and ANA will begin codesharing on Alitalia’s daily flights between Rome + Milan and Tokyo Narita. Furthermore, codeshare operations will commence on domestic routes within Italy and Japan. ANA does not fly to Italy (it once flew to both MXP and FCO, but terminated the routes).
It is true: there is no Star Alliance partner based in Italy (arrivederci Lufthansa Italia) nor is there a SkyTeam partner based in Japan.
Even so, from Frankfurt or Munich (both cities which ANA serves directly) offer connections to most larger cities in Italy. ANA also already codeshares with Star Alliance partner Austrian and SWISS, both of which offer excellent connections to Italy from their hubs in Vienna and Zurich (respectively).
Reciprocal Frequent Flyer Benefits on ANA + Alitalia
Also coming: reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits. According ANA, this will include reciprocal redemption.
ANA and Alitalia will cooperate also on frequent flyer programs mutually giving reciprocity access to their members and activating mileage accrual on codeshare routes and mileage redemption on the partners’ network.
This is customary when two airlines link up. The partnership will not extend beyond the partner’s own network (i.e. Alitalia miles will not be valid for redemptions on ANA’s Star Alliance partners).
Air Italy to Blame?
It’s my hunch that Air Italy spurred this move. I know…that’s hardly rocket science.
With Air Italy aggressively rebranding itself as Italy’s national airline, it would not surprise me to see new service to Japan as the Qatar-backed airline grows.
The point of this codeshare relationship is not necessarily to take business away from Lufthansa/SWISS/Austrian. The point is that many Japanese (just like everyone else) like to start or end their Italian trips in Milan or Rome. Presently, Alitalia is the only nonstop option between Japan and Italy. Since many book based upon nonstop availability, this partnership gives ANA the upper hand over Japan Airlines (JAL) on Japanese domestic connections. It also may help to soften the blow of future Air Italy service to Japan and beats JAL to forming an Italian partnership (though now JAL and Air Italy have a clearer path to cooperation, especially with Qatar Airways and JAL both members of oneworld).
> Read More – Air Italy: Qatar’s Plan to Destroy Alitalia
I still have to reorientate my mindset to the diminishing power of alliances, but this is not unprecedented. Remember, ANA already partners with:
- Garuda Indonesia
- Jet Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
- Vietnam Airlines
Will you take advantage of this new codeshare partnership?
ANA’s faith in Alitalia shows that the airline isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Also, the election of pro-labor/protectionist M5S/Lega means that Alitalia is likely to get plenty of support from the government in the future.
Air Italy and His Excellency (i.e. Qatar Airways) would have benefited from a PD/FI alliance, which would have been a more neoliberal government more likely to allow Alitalia to die.
On the whole, good news for Japanese passengers and Italian passengers alike.
So Alitalia is still a going concern?
Alitalia will continue to survive…that’s my assessment.