Star Alliance

Star Alliance

Infobox Airline alliance
alliance = Star Alliance

size = 100px
launch_date = 14 May 1997
full_members = 21
sponsored_members = 3
future_members = 4
airports = 975
countries = 162
annual_passengers = 499.96
annual_RPK = 990.24
fleet = 3,359
daily flights = 18,100
slogan = The Way The Earth Connects
key_people = Jaan Albrecht (CEO)
website = [] [ [ Facts & Figuresndash Star Alliance ] ]

Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance. Founded in 1997, its name and emblem represent the five founding airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines. Star Alliance has since grown considerably and now has 21 full and 3 regional members, with another three expected to become full members by 2009.

Customer service

Codeshare flights between these airlines are, for the most part, seamless. This tight cooperation led to suspicions of anti-competitive behavior, and the alliance was investigated by the European Union as a virtual merger of its members. Indeed, some speculated that if government regulations were relaxed, the members would merge into a single corporation [ [ Current issues arising with airline alliances: panel discussion. EUROPEAN AIR LAW ASSOCIATION. 11th Annual Conference. Recent developments in European air transport law and policy Lisbon, November 5, 1999] ] , although no evidence has yet materialized. Prior to Star Alliance, Northwest Airlines and KLM were operating together as the forerunners of the modern airline alliance system since 1993, although there had been even earlier pairings and groupings of airlines for decades on a less formal level. The creation of Star Alliance was a milestone in airline history because of its size. It sparked the formation of rivals, notably SkyTeam and Oneworld.

The alliance developed the "regional" concept in 2004, which helps Star Alliance penetrate individual markets with the regional participation of smaller carriers. Regional Star Alliance members have to be sponsored by an existing full Star Alliance member.

Star Alliance members now fly 18,100 daily flights to 975 airports in 162 countries with a fleet of 3,087 aircraft. Its members carried a total of 405.7 million passengers with a turnover of US$95.3 billion in 2006. The alliance's market share is 28% of the global market based on revenue passenger kilometers (RPK). All Star Alliance carriers combined employ over 350,000 pilots, flight attendants, and other staff. Star Alliance was voted best airline alliance in the Skytrax 2007 World Airline Awards. [cite web|year=2007|publisher=Skytrax|url=|title=2007 World Airlines Awardsndash Best Alliance|accessdate=2007-08-27]

Membership history

*1997 — The alliance is founded by Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines. Varig joins.
*1999 — Ansett Australia, All Nippon Airways, and Air New Zealand become members.
*2000 — Singapore Airlines, BMI, Mexicana, and the Austrian Airlines Group ( Austrian Arrows, Tyrolean Airways and Lauda Air) join.
*2001 — Ansett Australia folds under bankruptcy.
*2003 — Asiana Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Spanair join.
*2004 — US Airways joins the alliance. Mexicana's membership ends. Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines, Blue1 inaugurate the alliance's regional network.
*2005 — TAP Portugal joins the alliance. After merging with US Airways under the US Airways name, America West Airlines joins working through US Airways original membership.
*2006 — Swiss International Air Lines and South African Airways join.
*2007 — Varig was ejected from the alliance on January 31. Air China and Shanghai Airlines joined on December 12.
*2008 — Turkish Airlines joined on April 1 to become the 20th member. EgyptAir joined on July 11 as the 21st member. On October 7, TAM Airlines is announced as a future member, and starts its integration procedure to join effectively the alliance by end 2009.
*2009 — Air India is expected to join on 1 February 2009. Continental Airlines is awaiting regulatory approval and plans to join by mid 2009. TAM Airlines is expected to join in late 2009.

Co-location (move under one roof)

*In March 2008, some Star Alliance members started to move to Terminal 1 of London Heathrow Airport as part of a re-arrangement program. Star Alliance members Air New Zealand and United Airlines moved into Terminal 1 on 10 June 2008. Members Austrian Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, and TAP Portugal will move to Terminal 1 in late 2008 early 2009. Asiana, BMI, LOT Polish Airlines, South African Airways and US Airways already operate from Terminal 1. All other members will remain at T3 until Heathrow East is completed, where all members will then move. [cite web |url= |title=Star Alliance Gears Up For Terminal Moves at London Heathrow |publisher=Star Alliance |accessdate=2008-03-27]
*On March 26, 2008, all Star Alliance members moved operations to the new Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport in order to maintain simple transfers with Air China and other Star Alliance airline members. [ ATW: Star Alliance has eye on India as Air China, Shanghai Airlines prepare to join] ] Continental Airlines, which is currently at Terminal 2 of BCIA, will move to Terminal 3 in 2009 once regulatory approval has been granted. It is currently part of Skyteam.
*Since the remodeling of Mexico City International Airport's Terminal 1, all Star Alliance carriers were re-located to the Hall F2 of the terminal's International Building. United Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and US Airways now have their check-in facilities inside a single hall. The gate assignation for Star Alliance member airline varies, although they tend to operate into the 'F' gates. (F20-F28)
*At the same time as the move at Beijing Capital International Airport, all Star Alliance members are also expected to move to the new Terminal 2 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport to maintain simple transfers with Air China, Shanghai Airlines and other Star Alliance airline members.
*During the renovation of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 1, all Star Alliance members but Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and future members (Continental Airlines and Air India, witch service will end in winter 2008) were re-located there, in order to "create" a Star Alliance Hub.
*International Star Alliance departures and arrivals serving San Francisco International Airport moved to Boarding Area G except for those of Air Canada and Asiana Airlines.
*In June 2006, all Star Alliance member airlines except Air New Zealand moved to the new South Wing in Terminal 1 of Narita International Airport to simplify transfers with All Nippon Airways.
*Star Alliance members serving Cairo International Airport will also move to the new Terminal 3 once the terminal opens in fall 2008 to simplify transfers with EgyptAir. [ [ EgyptAir » About EgyptAir » News and Press » EgyptAir to join Star Alliance ,last update ] ]
*All Star Alliance members at Miami International Airport (Air Canada, United, US Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss) relocated to the newly built Concourse J, as part of the airport's "alliance co-location" program; Star Alliance was a major contributor to the new Concourse and overall Terminal construction.
*In June 2008, Star Alliance member airlines were relocated to the west side of Incheon International Airport as part of the airport's renewal program, followed by the opening of the new Concourse A.
*US Airways joined Star Alliance Partners Air Canada, United, Lufthansa, Austrian and LOT Polish in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport in March 2008. They had previously been in Terminal 3.
*In March 2008, Star Alliance member airlines were relocated to Terminal 2 at Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport.

Logo on aircraft

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. Singapore Airlines has painted some of their aircraft in a modified Star Alliance livery with a white tail instead of black. Asiana Airlines was the first Star Alliance member to paint their aircraft in Star Alliance livery.The aircraft that are not painted with the Star Alliance livery have the Star Alliance logo painted right next to the cockpit. The logo has a diameter of approximately 70 cm.

Member airlines

Starting in 2004, Star Alliance has divided its member airlines into "full members" and "regional members". Before being accepted as a regional member, airline must be sponsored by a full member.Full members may have some affiliate airlines (that either are owned by or are in a contractual relationship with a Star Alliance full member). Affiliate airlines fall under full member umbrella in respect to the Star Alliance rules, policies and benefits. All of the affiliate airlines grant Star Alliance frequent flyer benefits, and usually feature the Star Alliance logo on their aircraft, public relation materials and advertisement. In some cases (such as Air New Zealand link airlines and BMI Regional) the branding of the "parent" full member may be so strong as to mean passengers are unaware of the affiliate's independent existence.

Full members and their affiliates

*flagicon|Canada Air Canada"*" []
**flagicon|Canada Air Canada Jazz
*flagicon|People's Republic of China Air China []
*flagicon|New Zealand Air New Zealand []
**flagicon|New Zealand Air Nelson
**flagicon|New Zealand Eagle Airways
**flagicon|New Zealand Mount Cook Airline
*flagicon|Japan ANA All Nippon Airways []
**flagicon|Japan Air Nippon
**flagicon|Japan Air Central
**flagicon|Japan Air Japan
**flagicon|Japan Air Next
*flagicon|South Korea Asiana Airlines []
**flagicon|South Korea Air Busan
*flagicon|Austria Austrian Airlines []
**flagicon|Austria Tyrolean Airways []
**flagicon|Austria Lauda Air []
*flagicon|United Kingdom bmi []
**flagicon United Kingdom bmi baby
**flagicon|United Kingdom bmi Regional
*flagicon|Egypt EgyptAir []
**flagicon|Egypt EgyptAir Express []
*flagicon|Poland LOT Polish Airlines []
**flagicon|Poland EuroLOT []
*flagicon|Germany Lufthansa"*" []
**flagicon|Germany Lufthansa Regional []
***flagicon|Germany Augsburg Airways []
***flagicon|Germany Contact Air []
***flagicon|Germany Eurowings []
***flagicon|Germany Lufthansa CityLine []
***flagicon|Italy Air Dolomiti []
*flagicon|Denmarkflagicon|Norwayflagicon|Sweden Scandinavian Airlines System* []
*flagicon|People's Republic of China Shanghai Airlines []
*flagicon|Singapore Singapore Airlines []
*flagicon|South Africa South African Airways []
**flagicon|South Africa SA Express []
**flagicon|South Africa SA Airlink []
*flagicon|Spain Spanair []
*flagicon|Switzerland Swiss International Air Lines []
**flagicon|Switzerland Swiss European Air Lines
*flagicon|Portugal TAP Portugal []
**flagicon|Portugal Portugália
*flagicon|Thailand Thai Airways International"*" []
*flagicon|Turkey Turkish Airlines []
**flagicon|Turkey Anadolujet []
**flagicon|Turkey SunExpress []
*flagicon|United States United Airlines"*" []
**flagicon|United States Ted -Ted is being retired in 2009 and will be replaced with mainline service
**flagicon|United States United Express
*flagicon|United States US Airways []
**flagicon|United States US Airways Express

"*" founding members

Regional members

*flagicon|Slovenia Adria Airways [] (sponsored by Lufthansa)
*flagicon|Finland Blue1 [] (sponsored by SAS)
*flagicon|Croatia Croatia Airlines [] (sponsored by Lufthansa)

Future members

*flagicon|India Air India was invited to join Star Alliance on December 13, 2007, and is scheduled to be a full member by mid 2009. [] The combined entity has also confirmed that it has gained membership within Star Alliance and will expand its own network to be one of Asia's largest carriers. The formal announcement was made at the annual Star Alliance meeting on 13 December 2007. [ Air India joins Star Alliancendash The Hindu] [ Air India to join Star Alliance] .
**flagicon|India Air India Express
**flagicon|India Air India Regional (ex-Alliance Air)
**flagicon|India Indian Airlines (being merged with Air India)
*flagicon|Belgium Brussels Airlines On September 15, 2008 it was jointly announced by both airlines that Lufthansa will acquire a 45% stake in Brussels Airlines with an option to acquire the remaining 55% from 2011. As a part of this deal Brussels Airlines will join Star Alliance. A date for the airline's entry into the alliance has yet to be determined. [ Official press release]
*flagicon|United States Continental Airlines On June 19, 2008 Continental Airlines and United Airlines signed an agreement which will lead to Continental's exit from SkyTeam and entry into Star Alliance as well as, pending government approval, an antitrust immunized alliance between Continental Airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada and further Star Alliance member airlines [ Continental Airlines ] ]
**flagicon|United States Continental Connection
**flagicon|United States Continental Express
**flagicon|Guam Continental Micronesia
*flagicon|Brazil TAM Airlines announced on October 7, 2008 that it is the next airline in line to join Star Alliance. The mentoring airline for this admission is United Airlines and the airline is expected to join the alliance after completing the integration process, by end 2009. With this addition, South America will be once again widely covered by the Star Alliance network after previous member Varig was evicted in 2006.
**flagicon|Paraguay TAM Airlines (Paraguay)

Former members

*flagicon|Australia Ansett Australia — collapsed in 2001.
*flagicon|Mexico Mexicana — left the alliance in 2004 after deciding not to renew a codeshare alliance with United Airlines and opted to codeshare with American Airlines (Oneworld member) and in turn announced to join the Oneworld alliance in April 2008.
*flagicon|Brazil Varig — suspended its membership alliance on January 31, 2007 due to major restructuring, being involuntarily ejected, and failing to meet miminum qualifications.

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.

tar 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
* Airport lounge access

Membership tiers granting Star Alliance Silver:
*Air Canada (Aeroplan)ndash Prestige
*Air China (Air China Companion)ndash Gold, Silver
*Air New Zealand (Airpoints)ndash Silver
*ANA (Mileage Club)ndash Bronze
*Asiana (Asiana Club)ndash Gold
*Adria/Austrian/Croatia Airlines/LOT/Lufthansa/SWISS (Miles & More)ndash Frequent Traveler
*bmi (Diamond Club)ndash Silver
*Blue1/SAS (EuroBonus)ndash Silver
*EgyptAir (EgyptAir Plus)ndash Silver
*Shanghai Airlines (Flying Crane)ndash Silver
*Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)ndash Silver
*South African Airways (Voyager)ndash Silver
*Spanair (Spanair Plus)ndash Silver
*TAP ( [ Victoria] )ndash Silver Winner
*Thai (Royal Orchid Plus)ndash Silver
*Turkish Airlines (Miles and Smiles)ndash Classic Plus
*United (Mileage Plus)ndash Premier, Premier Associate
*US Airways (Dividend Miles)ndash Silver Preferred

The lowest qualification criteria for a Star Alliance Silver status is 10,000 status miles earned during one calendar year with Thai's Royal Orchid Plus program [] awarding a status valid for a full two years.

tar 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 20kg (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)

Membership tiers granting Star Alliance Gold:
*Air Canada (Aeroplan)ndash Super Elite, Elite
*Air China (Air China Companion)ndash Platinum, Gold
*Air New Zealand (Airpoints)ndash Gold Elite, Gold
*ANA (Mileage Club)ndash Diamond, Platinum, Super Flyers
*Asiana (Asiana Club)ndash Platinum, Diamond
*Adria/Austrian/Croatia Airlines/LOT/Lufthansa/SWISS (Miles & More)ndash HON Circle, Senator
*BMI (Diamond Club)ndash Gold
*Blue1/SAS (EuroBonus)ndash Pandion, Gold
*EgyptAir (EgyptAir Plus) ndash Gold
*Shanghai Airlines (Flying Crane)ndash Gold
*Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)ndash Solitaire PPS Club, PPS Club, Elite Gold
*South African Airways (Voyager)ndash Platinum, Gold
*Spanair (Spanair Plus)ndash Gold
*TAP ( [ Victoria] )ndash Gold Winner
*Thai (Royal Orchid Plus)ndash Gold
*Turkish Airlines (Miles and Smiles)ndash Elite Plus, Elite
*United (Mileage Plus)ndash Global Services, 1K, Premier Executive
*US Airways ( [ Dividend Miles] )ndash Chairman's Preferred, Platinum Preferred, Gold Preferred

The lowest qualification criteria for a Star Alliance Gold status is 35,000 status miles earned during one calendar year with [ Air Canada's Aeroplan program] awarding a status valid for one year from March of the next year.

Another carrier offering a similar level for Star Alliance Gold status qualification is Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Classic Plus cardholders who earn 40,000 status miles within 12 consecutive months are eligible to become Elite members, thereby earning Star Alliance Gold status. [] Turkish Airlines Elite status is valid for two years. Miles and Smiles members who are residents of Turkey can renew their Elite level membership by earning 30,000 qualifying miles within one year of earning elite status or 45,000 miles within two years of earning elite status. Miles and Smiles members residing outside of Turkey are eligible for elite status renewal if they accrue 25,000 miles within one year of gaining elite status or 37,500 within two years ndash the lowest re-qualification criteria for a Star Alliance Gold status.

Effective 1st October 2008, accumulating 40,000 miles over two calendar years in [ Asiana Airlines Club Programme] will gain Gold status, with a renewal requirement of 40,000 miles in two calendar years.

Photo gallery of the Star Alliance livery


External links

* [ Star Alliance] ndash official site
* [ Photos of aircraft in Star Alliance livery]

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