In their rush to sign up the few remaining non-aligned airlines, SkyTeam have really been going for broke as this blog has kept pointing out. The original leading members (including Air France/KLM, Delta and Aeroflot) are no great shakes but the addition of Garuda, Aereolineas Argentinas and China Airlines has done nothing for the overall reputation of the alliance – let alone its combined safety record, which was dreadful to start with.
Now, the Lebanese airline, Middle East Airlines is set to join the alliance. Before the troubles in Lebanon, this airline was regarded not just as one of the best but also had very strong and innovative management who were much admired in the industry. Times have changed and MEA has done amazingly well to survive as a recognisable airline but it is still very much in business. Maybe not at the forefront of the business as it once was, but able to stand its own amongst the middle-rank.
Presumably, their long-standing commercial arrangement with Air France pushed them towards SkyTeam. That seems rather a shame – they deserve a place in one of the two better alliances.