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Star Alliance

 

Star Alliance

Star Alliance
Launch date 14 May 1997
Full members 27
Non-voting members 40 affiliates
Destination airports 1,321[1]
Destination countries 193[1]
Annual passengers (M) 637.62 million[1]
Annual RPK (G) 1,331[1]
Fleet size 4,456[1]
Management Aly Abdel Fadil, CEO[2]
Calin Rovinescu, Chairman
Alliance slogan The Way The Earth Connects
Headquarters Frankfurt am Main, Germany[3]
Website staralliance.com

Star Alliance is the world's largest global airline alliance. Founded on 14 May 1997, its current CEO is Mark Schwab and its headquarters is in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.[3] As of 31 March 2014 Star Alliance is the largest global alliance by passenger count with 637.6 million, ahead of SkyTeam (588 million) and Oneworld (512.8 million). Its slogan is "The Way The Earth Connects".

As of March 2014 Star Alliance's 27 member airlines operate a fleet of about 4,000 aircraft, serve more than 1,000 airports in 194 countries and carry 637.6 million passengers per year on more than 18,000 daily departures. The alliance has a two-tier rewards program, Silver and Gold, with incentives including priority boarding and upgrades. Like other airline alliances, Star Alliance airlines share airport terminals (known as co-location) and many member planes are painted in the alliance's livery.

Contents

  • History 1
    • 1997–1999: First alliance 1.1
    • Additions 1.2
    • 2000-2006: Expansion 1.3
    • 2007: Tenth anniversary 1.4
    • 2008–2010: Second decade of operations 1.5
    • 2011-present: Further expansion 1.6
  • Member airlines 2
    • Members and affiliates 2.1
    • Future members 2.2
  • Former members and affiliates 3
    • Former affiliates of current members 3.1
  • Customer service 4
    • Member hubs 4.1
    • Co-location at Airports (move under one roof) 4.2
    • Premium status 4.3
      • Star Alliance Silver 4.3.1
      • Star Alliance Gold 4.3.2
      • Qualifying tiers by airline 4.3.3
  • Livery and logo 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

1997–1999: First alliance

Tails of four planes on the tarmac
Lufthansa is one of the alliance's founding members.

Logo with five pyramids over
First Star Alliance logo, still in use today

On 14 May 1997, an agreement was announced forming Star Alliance from five airlines on three continents: Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and United Airlines.[4][5] The alliance chose Young & Rubicam for advertising, with a budget of $25 million (€18 million).[6] The airlines shared the star logo from the beginning, with its five points representing the founding airlines. The alliance adopted its first slogan, "The Airline Network for Earth",[4] with its goal "an alliance that will take passengers to every major city on earth".[5]

Additions

VARIG joined the Star Alliance network[4][7] on 22 October 1997, extending the alliance into South America. Also joining were Ansett Australia and Air New Zealand, expanding Star Alliance to Australia and the Pacific.[8] With the addition of the latter two carriers, the alliance served 720 destinations in 110 countries with a combined fleet of 1,650 aircraft. The next airline to join was All Nippon Airways (ANA), the group's second Asian airline, on 15 October 1999. [9][10]

2000-2006: Expansion

During the early 2000s a number of airlines joined Star Alliance; the Austrian Airlines Group (Austrian Airlines, Tyrolean Airways and Lauda Air) joined on 26 March 2000[11][12] and Singapore Airlines on 1 April.[13] BMI (British Midland) and Mexicana Airlines joined on 1 July, bringing the alliance's membership to 13.[14] The addition of BMI made London Heathrow the only European hub with two alliances. During the year Emirates considered joining Star Alliance, but decided against it.[15] That year the now-defunct BWIA West Indies Airways, which had entered an alliance with United Airlines, considered becoming a member but did not.[16] In 2000 the alliance also opened its first three business centers (in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, and Bangkok) and announced the formation of an Alliance Management Team (AMT), the partnership's executive body.[17] In September 2001 Ansett Australia (the alliance's only Australian member) left Star Alliance due to bankruptcy, giving most of the Australian market to Qantas (a Oneworld member). That year Star Alliance announced the appointment of a new CEO, Jaan Albrecht.[17]

Asiana Airlines joined the alliance on 1 March 2003,[18] Spanair on 1 May,[19] and LOT Polish Airlines (Poland's flag carrier) in October.[20] Around this time Mexicana Airlines left the alliance after deciding not to renew a codeshare agreement with United Airlines, later joining Oneworld.[17] US Airways joined the alliance in May 2003,[21] becoming its second US-based airline. In November Adria Airways, Blue1 and Croatia Airlines joined the alliance as its first three regional members.[22]

Although Star Alliance invited Lineas Aereas Azteca in 2005 to join in mid-2007, the airline filed for bankruptcy. TAP Portugal joined on 14 March 2005, adding African destinations to the network.[23][24] In April 2006 Swiss International Air Lines, the alliance's sixth European airline, and South African Airways (its first African carrier) became the 17th and 18th members.[25]

2007: Tenth anniversary

By May 2007, Star Alliance's 10th anniversary, its members had a combined 16,000 daily departures to 855 destinations in 155 countries and served 406 million passengers annually. The alliance introduced Biosphere Connections, a partnership with UNESCO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Ramsar Convention On Wetlands to promote environmental sustainability.[26][27]

Today, nearly 30% of global air travellers use the services of our member carriers or, looking at it from an overall industry perspective, two thirds of world-wide air travellers use one of the three airline alliances.
— Jaan Albrecht, former Star Alliance CEO[28]

VARIG left the alliance on 31 January 2007,[29] and the two Chinese airlines Air China and Shanghai Airlines joined on 12 December.[30]

2008–2010: Second decade of operations

On 1 April 2008 Turkish Airlines joined the alliance after a 15-month integration process beginning in December 2006, becoming its seventh European airline[31] and 20th member. EgyptAir, Egypt's national airline and Star Alliance's second African carrier, joined on 11 July 2008.[32]

On 27 October 2009, Continental Airlines became the 25th member of Star Alliance after leaving SkyTeam three days earlier. According to alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht, "Bringing Continental Airlines into Star Alliance has been a truly unique experience. This is the first time an airline has moved directly from one alliance to another and I would like to thank all those involved in ensuring a smooth switch". At the time, it was rumored that the switch was Continental's first move in a planned United Airlines-Continental merge.[33] Two months later, Brussels Airlines joined the alliance.[34]

Brazilian carrier TAM Airlines joined Star Alliance on 13 May 2010,[35] increasing its foothold in South America.[36] Aegean Airlines, Greece's largest airline by number of passengers, joined on 30 June.[37]

Shanghai Airlines left the alliance on 31 October 2010 when it merged with China Eastern Airlines, a SkyTeam member.[38] On 29 September, the chief executive board approved Ethiopian Airlines as Star Alliance's 30th member.[39] In 2010 the alliance flew to 1,172 airports in 181 countries, with about 21,200 daily departures.[39]

2011-present: Further expansion

Since 2011 more airlines have joined, and others have left due to their collapse or restructuring. In August 2011, after several delays, Air India was rejected for membership when it did not meet alliance requirements.[40][41] On 13 December 2011 Ethiopian Airlines joined, adding five countries and 24 destinations to the alliance's map.[42]

Star Alliance had a tumultuous 2012, with Spanair leaving early in the year when the carrier ceased operations.[43] In early March Continental merged with United Airlines, ending its membership in the alliance.[44] BMI left on 20 April after its acquisition by International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of Oneworld members Iberia and British Airways.[45] On 21 June Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines joined the alliance, increasing its Latin American presence.[46] In November Blue1 left the alliance, becoming an affiliate of parent Scandinavian Airlines.[47] Shenzhen Airlines joined on 29 November, augmenting Air China's Chinese network.[48]

On 8 March 2013, TAM Airlines announced its departure due to its merger with LAN Airlines to become LATAM Airlines Group.[49] With the addition of EVA Air on 18 June and TACA's integration into Avianca, the alliance now had 28 members and was the largest of the three major airline alliances.[50] On 13 December, Air India was again invited to begin an integration process with Star Alliance.[51] On 31 March 2014 TAM Airlines moved to Oneworld, and US Airways and an American Airlines affiliate also left the alliance.[52] That day, Avianca Brazil announced that it would join Star Alliance in 2014 as an affiliate of Avianca.[53] After TAM Airlines and US Airways left, the alliance had 26 members. On 24 June Air India was approved, joining the alliance on 11 July.[54][55][56][57] Avianca Brazil finally joined the alliance on 22 July 2015.[58]

Member airlines

Air Canada plane in flight
Lufthansa plane in flight
Scandinavian Airlines plane taking off
Thai Airways plane on the tarmac
United Airlines plane in flight

Members and affiliates

A Founding member.
B Airlines operating under Air Canada Express, Air New Zealand Link, Lufthansa Regional, Tyrolean Airways and United Express are not necessarily members of Star Alliance. However, flights are operated on behalf of the respective member airlines, carry their designator code and are Star Alliance flights.
C Members of Lufthansa Regional that are fully owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG
D EVAS Air, Jazz Aviation, Sky Regional Airlines.
E Air India Regional flights are operated by Alliance Air.
F Air New Zealand Link flights are operated by Air Nelson, Eagle Airways and Mount Cook Airline.
G Lufthansa Regional flights are operated by Air Dolomiti, Eurowings and Lufthansa CityLine.
H United Express flights are operated by Cape Air, CommutAir, ExpressJet Airlines, GoJet Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Republic Airlines, Shuttle America, SkyWest Airlines, and Trans States Airlines.

Future members

As of September 2015, no airlines are scheduled to join the alliance.

Former members and affiliates

Former affiliates of current members

Customer service

Codeshare flights of Star Alliance airlines are consistent. This cooperation led to suspicions of anti-competitive behavior; the alliance was suspected by the European Union of being a virtual merger of its members, and speculation existed that if government regulations were relaxed the members would merge into one corporation.[62]

Star Alliance developed a "regional" concept in 2004, which helped it penetrate markets with participation by smaller regional carriers. Regional Star Alliance members had to be sponsored by an alliance member. The alliance no longer designates airlines as "regional" members, now referring to its 27 airlines as "members".[63]

In 2007, alliance members flew 18,521 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries with a fleet of 4,025 aircraft. Its members carried a total of 627.52 million passengers, with revenue of US$156.8 billion (€145 billion). It had 28 percent of the global market based on revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), greater than the combined market share of all airlines not in one of the three major alliances. All alliance carriers combined employed over 405,000 pilots, flight attendants, and other staff. Star Alliance was voted best airline alliance in the Skytrax 2007 World Airline Awards.[64]

Member hubs

Co-location at Airports (move under one roof)

Star Alliance members Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines (with Star Alliance livery), and Air China (in the field) using Terminal 3-E of Beijing Capital International Airport as part of the Move Under One Roof program to co-locate alliance members.
City Airport IATA Terminal Exceptions
Barcelona Barcelona–El Prat Airport BCN Terminal 1
Beijing Beijing Capital International Airport PEK Terminal 3
Cairo Cairo International Airport CAI Terminal 3
Chongqing Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport CKG Terminal 2B
Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport DEL Terminal 3
Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport FRA Terminal 1 "Star Alliance Terminal"
Hong Kong Hong Kong International Airport HKG Terminal 1
London London Heathrow Airport LHR Terminal 2
Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport MEX Terminal 1
Miami Miami International Airport MIA Concourse J
Munich Munich Airport MUC Terminal 2
Moscow Domodedovo International Airport DME Terminal A
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport CDG Terminal 1
Phuket Phuket International Airport HKT Terminal 1
Seoul Incheon International Airport ICN Concourse A
Shanghai Shanghai Pudong International Airport PVG Terminal 2
Stockholm Stockholm-Arlanda Airport ARN Terminal 5
Taipei Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport TPE Terminal 2
Tokyo Narita International Airport NRT Terminal 1 – South Wing
Toronto Toronto Pearson International Airport YYZ Terminal 1
Vienna Vienna International Airport VIE Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (Check-in 3)[65]

Premium status

Star Alliance has two premium levels, Silver and Gold, based on a customer's tier status in a member carrier's frequent flyer program. Each of the member and regional airlines recognizes Star Silver/Gold status, with a few exceptions (mainly pertaining to airport lounge access). The statuses have no specific requirements of their own; membership is based solely on the frequent flyer programs of individual member airlines. Many member airlines also have an additional premium status beyond Gold which is not recognised across Star Alliance.

Star Alliance Silver

Star Alliance Silver status is awarded to customers who have reached a premium level of a member carrier's frequent flyer program.

Benefits of Star Alliance Silver membership:

  • Priority reservations waitlisting
  • Priority airport stand-by

Some airlines also offer the following to Silver members:

  • Priority boarding
  • Priority airport check-in
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Preferred seating
  • Additional checked luggage allowance
  • Waived fees for 1st and 2nd checked bags

Star Alliance Gold

Star Alliance Gold status is awarded to customers who have reached a high level of a member airline's frequent flyer program.

Benefits of Star Alliance Gold membership:

  • Priority reservations waitlisting
  • Priority airport stand-by
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority airport check-in
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Additional checked luggage allowance of 20 kg (or one extra piece where the piece concept applies)
  • Airport lounge access to designated Star Alliance Gold lounges on the day and at the place of departure, on presentation of a valid Star Alliance boarding pass.

Some airlines also offer the following to Gold members:

  • Preferred seating (exit seat, or even on a special section on the plane on some carriers, which provides more leg room)
  • Guaranteed seating on fully booked flights (subject to the booking class code and notice period)
  • Free upgrade (in the form of voucher/certificate or automatic upgrade upon check-in)
  • United restricts US lounge access for their Gold Members to long-haul international passengers; Gold members from other carriers are welcome in US Lounges run by United on all itineraries. Unlike in Oneworld and Skyteam, United Star Gold members are admitted to the lounges of foreign alliance carriers (such as Lufthansa's Senator lounges at US airports) even if traveling domestically.

Qualifying tiers by airline

Member airline Mileage program Star Silver
(qualifying tiers)
Star Gold
(qualifying tiers)
Adria
Austrian Airlines
Brussels Airlines
Croatia Airlines
LOT Polish Airlines
Lufthansa
Swiss International Air Lines
Miles & More Frequent Traveller Senator
HON Circle
Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus Silver Gold
Air Canada Aeroplan[66] Prestige 25K
Elite 35K
Elite 50K
Elite 75K
Super Elite 100K
Air China
Shenzhen Airlines
Phoenix Miles Silver Gold
Platinum
Air India Flying Returns Silver Edge Club The Maharajah Club
Golden Edge Club
Air New Zealand Airpoints Silver Gold
Elite
All Nippon Airways ANA Mileage Club Bronze Super Flyers
Diamond
Platinum
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Gold Diamond
Diamond Plus
Platinum
Avianca LifeMiles Silver Gold
Diamond
Avianca Brazil Programa Amigo Silver Gold
Diamond
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles Silver Gold
Platinum
Presidential Platium
EgyptAir EgyptAir Plus Silver Gold
Platinum
Ethiopian Airlines Sheba Miles Silver Club Gold Club
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Infinity MileageLands Silver Infinity MileageLands Gold
Infinity MileageLands Diamond
Scandinavian Airlines EuroBonus Silver Gold
Diamond
Pandion
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Elite Silver Elite Gold
PPS Club
Solitaire PPS Club
South African Airways Voyager Silver Gold
Platinum
TAP Portugal Victoria Silver Winner Gold Winner
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus Silver Gold, Platinum
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Classic Plus Elite
Elite Plus
United Airlines MileagePlus Premier Silver Premier Gold
Premier Platinum
Premier 1K
Global Services

Some Star Alliance members paint some of their planes with the Star Alliance livery, usually featuring a white fuselage with "Star Alliance" signature written across and a black tailfin with the Star Alliance logo while the color or design of the engine cowlings or winglets remains depending on the members livery. Singapore Airlines is the only exception, formerly opting to paint the tails of the aircraft with the airline's logo; and now applying the Star Alliance logo sans the black tailfin painting, leaving it white. Asiana Airlines was the first Star Alliance member to paint their aircraft in the current Star Alliance livery.[67] Aircraft painted in their airline's regular livery have the Star Alliance logo painted on the aircraft between the cockpit and the first set of cabin doors.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Facts & Figures" (PDF). Star Alliance. 31 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mark Schwab Appointed New Star Alliance Ceo". Star Alliance. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Impressum". Star Alliance. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c BRYANT, ADAM (14 May 1997). "United and 4 Others to Detail Air Alliance Today". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b TAGLIABUE, JOHN (15 May 1997). "5 Airlines Extend Limits of Alliances". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Meredith, Robyn (15 May 1997). "Airline Alliance Picks Y.& R.". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
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  10. ^ All Nippon Airways Joins Star Alliance Network
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  12. ^ Austrian Airlines Group has joined Star Alliance
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  16. ^ Lewis, Paul (16 May 2000). "BWIA seeks fleet renewal funds". Orlando: Flight International. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
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  18. ^ "Asian Airlines". Star Alliance. 
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  34. ^ [2]. Company.brusselsairlines.com. Retrieved on 2015-10-08.
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  39. ^ a b "ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES ACCEPTED AS FUTURE STAR ALLIANCE MEMBER CARRIER" (Press release). Star Alliance. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010. 
  40. ^ Air India's dream to be a part of the 29-member Star Alliance was over at the time, paving the way for the entry of Jet Airways in the exclusive club. Member-airlines of the world's largest airline alliance were not able to come to a unanimous decision to allow Air India, whose application had been put on hold earlier. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ais-star-dream-ends/482772/
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  46. ^ Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines join Star Alliance
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  53. ^ "STAR ALLIANCE MAINTAINS PRESENCE IN BRAZIL THROUGH AVIANCA BRAZIL". Star Alliance. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
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  57. ^ "Air India becomes a permanent member of Star Alliance". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
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  63. ^ "Member Airlines – Star Alliance". Staralliance.com. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  64. ^ "2007 World Airlines Awards– Best Alliance". Skytrax. 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2007. 
  65. ^ "Check-in Finder" (PDF). Vienna International Airport. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  66. ^ "MAKE YOUR MILES COUNT". Air Canada. 
  67. ^ "Star Alliance Launches New Aircraft Livery; New Member Asiana Airlines to Premiere Bold New Design.". PRNewsWire. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
  • Photos of aircraft in Star Alliance livery
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