15 November 2001 | David Arminas
The near-bankruptcy of Swissair has highlighted the increasing need for airlines to work more closely using online exchanges such as Cordiem, according to British Airways' trade exchange manager.
"One of the things we are determined to see from our exchange is cost reductions," said Paul Alexander. However, he did not expect the Swiss airline's problems to harm the development of Cordiem.
Last month Swissair, one of the exchange's nine founding airlines, was rescued temporarily from bankruptcy by private investors, but doubts remain about its future.
"Cordiem's nine airlines and three suppliers are all committed to going forward," a Cordiem spokesperson told SM. "The key is building up a good content base and encouraging other companies to join the exchange. This will take some time. Members can buy on other exchanges if they wish and other airlines can join Cordiem."
But at this point, he added, there were no plans for mergers with other exchanges.
"When a carrier like Swissair has problems, it makes us all reflect a little and redouble our efforts with the airlines," said Edjuan Bailey, marketing director at exchange Aeroxchange. "But as far as consolidation and mergers go, I don't think it's even on the horizon."
The Dallas-based Aeroxchange was set up by 13 airlines, including Air Canada and Lufthansa, in late 2000 and began operating in February this year.