Cargo airline alliances

The purpose of the cargo airline alliance is to create seamless coordination and delivery throughout the global alliance network for international air freight services (Transportweekly, 20083).

An cargo airline alliance is mainly formed by the same members of a passenger airline alliance, such as SkyTeam (SkyTeam Cargo) or Star Alliance (WOW). In recent years, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has formed a cargo alliance with United Parcel Service (UPS). They have started to code-share for transporting cargo (Wikipedia, 20094).

SkyTeam Cargo

usjv_logo.gif SkyTeam Cargo logo (Picture embedded from SkyTeam Cargo on 21 March 2009)

SkyTeam Cargo is the largest cargo airline alliance today. The cargo alliance was founded by four SkyTeam airlines (AeroMexico, Air France, Delta, and Korean Air) in September 2000 (SkyTeam Cargo, 20092). In September, 2005, the fourth largest airline, Northwest Airlines joined the alliance. As a result, since 2000 their global network has extended from 411 to 728 unduplicated destinations, from 100 to 149 countries, and from 14 billion tonnes air freight per year to 26.03 billion tonnes.


  • AeroMexico Cargo
  • Air France Cargo
  • Alitalia Cargo
  • CSA Cargo
  • Delta Air Logistics
  • KLM Cargo
  • Korean Air Cargo
  • Northwest Airlines Cargo


Lack of cargo fleet
Three of the eight SkyTeam Cargo members -AeroMexico, Delta and CSA- do not own their cargo fleet.
Loss of market share and network routes as a result of Continental’s leave
Continental has announced it will join Star Alliance after October, 2009. This means SkyTeam will lose a large proportion of market share and routes in North America.

WOW Alliance

WOWcargo.gif WOW logo (Picture embedded from Aerosite on 12 June 2009)

In 2000, WOW Cargo Alliance was established by three Star Alliance members (SAS Cargo Group, Lufthansa Cargo, and Singapore Airlines Cargo) (Wikipedia, 20095). In 2002, a Oneworld member, JAL Cargo, joined the WOW alliance. The alliance’s cargo network has expanded to 523 locations in 103 nations. They own 41 cargo aircraft (Japan Times, 20021), controlling 17% of the global market.


  • SAS Cargo Group
  • Lufthansa Cargo
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo
  • JAL Cargo


Lack of competitiveness
According to Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, WOW Alliance cannot offer sufficient advantages to its members in their market (Transportweekly, 20083).
Internal competition
In recent years, WOW Alliance members have increasingly competed against each other and have failed to agree on joint offers as a result of a rapid increase in the global commercial aviation industry (Transportweekly, 20083).
Lack of an American partner
WOW Alliance is now seeking a new cargo partner, American Airlines, in order to enter the U.S. domestic market. However, it has had difficulty in finding such partner (Japan Times, 20021).
External members
Compared to SkyTeam Cargo, WOW Alliance includes members (JAL) from outside the passenger global alliance. This could be a barrier to create new open business linked to Star Alliance.
1. JAPAN TIMES (2002). JAL joins international cargo alliance. Retrieved from Japan Times on 21 March 2009.
2. SKY TEAM CARGO (2009). History. Retrieved from SkyTeam Cargo on 21 March 2009.
3. TRANSPORTWEEKLY (2008). Alliance expected to die. Retrieved from Transportweekly on 21 March 2009.
4. WIKIPEDIA (2009). Airline alliance. Retrieved from Wikipedia on 21 March 2009.
5. WIKIPEDIA (2009). WOW Alliance. Retrieved from Wikipedia on 21 March 2009.

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AviationKnowledge - Airline alliances
This page is an introduction to both passenger and cargo alliances.
Wikipedia - ANA/UPS Cargo alliance
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Wikipedia - SkyTeam Cargo alliance
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Wikipedia - WOW alliance
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