“Airline alliances could lead to higher fares, fewer seats“

16 February 2001

With airlines teaming up on code-shares, air fares could become less competitive and frequencies reduced, a factor that could affect growth from longhaul markets to Asia, said a leading Swiss tour operator.

Senior product manager-Asia for Kuoni Switzerland, Thomas Graf said, “Swissair is trying to build more code-shares with Malaysia Airlines, Thai International and Cathay Pacific. This means they are able to set air fares and decrease frequencies.”

Graf said this was becoming a problem not only on international but also regional routes.

“Flights within Asia are also getting difficult.”

In particular, he said, flights to secondary destinations such as Siem Reap were a problem. “The air fare from Bangkok to Siem Reap could cost as much as from Zurich to Bangkok.”

Graf said however Kuoni had no plans to operate more charters to the region. Currently, it operates a weekly charter to Phuket during the high season.

“We may increase if there is a problem getting air seats,” Graf said.

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