Alitalia joins Air France, Delta and KLM to form trans-Atlantic joint venture

Several of the largest airlines in the world have teamed up to combine routes, creating the world’s largest trans-Atlantic flight network. Alitalia signed an agreement to join Air France, Delta and KLM and share revenue and costs. The new combination will operate 26% of all trans-Atlantic flights, with almost 55,000 seats on 250 flights. The total revenue from this trans-Atlantic capacity is estimated to be more than $10 billion.

Unlike some airline collaborations, this new alliance actually appears to help air passengers by allowing airlines to create new routes they normally may not have considered. The network also allows for seamless ticketing and baggage handling between the U.S. and European gateway airport. Examples of new routes include Delta non-stop flights from Atlanta to London Heathrow and Portland to Amsterdam.

The hub cities for the network are Amsterdam, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York JFK and Paris CDG. Part of the joint venture will include codeshare flights (when allowed). The trans-Atlantic alliance is separate from the already existing Skyteam alliance.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Fly to Cyprus for Less Than $40 US or Not?

OrbitzAlitaliaWell here’s a rather bizarre story about Orbitz, one of the third-largest online travel agencies and Italian airline Alitalia. Apparently the airline accidentally listed a business-class flight from Toronto to Cyprus at $39 US on a central reservation system which then feeds flight information to online booking agencies. CNEWS notes the incorrect round-trip airfare from Toronto to Cyprus with a stop to change planes in Italy was posted with multiple departing dates on Orbitz.com, where some very lucky and not so lucky folks will probably have the vacation of their dreams. Before word among online shoppers really began to spread red flags went off and Orbitz pulled the rate to discuss with Alitalia.

To cut the crazy tale short Alitalia will be honoring a vast majority of tickets booked on Orbitz.com for those who actually received confirmation numbers from the airline. Those who never got the airline confirmation will only be reimbursed the service fee paid to Orbitz. Having experienced an online error in the past myself I have to include a moral to this story and that moral is: If something seems far too good to be true, chances are it is far too good to be true. But ahh, those very, very lucky few! Most of all it teaches us to be extra careful when booking online where glitches may be infrequent, but can always occur.

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