OneWorld founding member American Airline and SkyTeam founding member Korean Air just announced a ground breaking relationship. Korean Air has temporarily throwing up the white flag as the two airlines have decided to put alliances aside and cooperate on AA’s flights between Dallas /Fort Worth and Seoul’s Incheon airport!
Per the news release
American Airlines and Korean Air have signed an agreement to begin codesharing. Pending regulatory approval, Korean Air will place its code on American Airlines flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea.
Once approved, the two carriers plan to sell codeshare flights for travel beginning in April 2015. The new agreement will allow Korean Air SKYPASS members to earn miles when traveling on American-operated flights between DFW and ICN.
American currently operates daily flights between Dallas and Seoul, whereas Korean operates four weekly flights during the winter and up-gauges the route to daily starting March 29, 2015. American entered the DFW-ICN market in May of 2013, and has been seeking ways to grow their customer base in Asia as the airline has pushed west from Dallas and expanded with multiple new routes to Asia.
American’s new route has cut away at Korean Air’s market share, as the Dallas Aviation blog reports “Korean carried 114,192 passengers to and from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in the 12 months ended November 2014, compared to 140,784 in the 12 months before that.”
For now, ONLY SkyPass members will be able to earn miles on AA’s route between DFW and INC and there is no indication that AA will place their flight code on Korean’s route between Dallas and Seoul, or beyond. I have reached out to AA for further information on future plans and cooperation plans between the two airlines.
Korean Air may be a member of the SkyTeam alliance, but it is no secret that the airline has a dysfunctional relationship with Delta who has refused to sign a joint venture between Asia and North America and has slashed SkyMiles earning rates for members on Korean Airline flights. This is addition to removing codeshares on a number of flights between the two airlines.
Today’s announcement also included hints at further cooperation as both American and Korean Air executives hinted at strengthening their relationship with better access to other region beyond the initial route,
“The new codeshare cooperation with Korean Air is an important milestone in growing our relationships with carriers around the globe to provide customers access to the destinations they value most,” said Kurt Stache, American’s senior vice president – Alliances and Partnerships. “This is the next step in strengthening our position in Asia, allowing us to win new customers in the region. We look forward to a strong relationship with Korean Air.”
“We look forward to a successful relationship with American Airlines,” said Yong Soon Park, Korean Air’s Senior Vice President of International Affairs and Alliance. “We are delighted with this partnership which will provide our customers with better access between Korea and the U.S. and to destinations throughout North, Central and South America.”
Stay tuned to find out if a deeper partnership will develop between the two airlines and what it will mean for both Skypass and AAdvantage member!