|Launch date||14 May 1997|
|Non-voting members||40 affiliates|
|Annual passengers (M)||637.62 million|
|Annual RPK (G)||1,331|
|Management||Mark Schwab, CEO
Calin Rovinescu, Chairman
|Alliance slogan||The Way The Earth Connects|
|Headquarters||Frankfurt am Main, Germany|
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. As of 31 March 2014[update], 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".
Star Alliance's 27 member airlines operate a fleet of approximately 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.
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. The alliance chose Young & Rubicam for advertising, with a budget of $25 million (18 million). 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", with its goal "an alliance that will take passengers to every major city on earth".
The now defunct Brazilian airline VARIG joined the Star Alliance network 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. 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.
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 and Singapore Airlines on 1 April. BMI (British Midland) and Mexicana Airlines joined on 1 July, bringing the alliance's membership to 13. 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. That year the now-defunct BWIA West Indies Airways, which had entered an alliance with United Airlines, considered becoming a member but did not. 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. 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.
Asiana Airlines joined the alliance on 1 March 2003, Spanair on 1 May, and LOT Polish Airlines (Poland's flag carrier) in October. Around this time, Mexicana Airlines left the alliance after deciding not to renew a codeshare agreement with United Airlines, later joining Oneworld. US Airways joined the alliance in May 2003, becoming its second US-based airline. In November Adria Airways, Blue1 and Croatia Airlines joined the alliance as its first three regional members.
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. 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.
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.
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 worldwide air travellers use one of the three airline alliances.Jaan Albrecht, former Star Alliance CEO
On 1 April 2008, Turkish Airlines joined the alliance after a 15-month integration process beginning in December 2006, becoming its seventh European airline and 20th member. EgyptAir, Egypt's national airline and Star Alliance's second African carrier, joined on 11 July 2008.
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. Two months later, Brussels Airlines joined the alliance.
Brazilian carrier TAM Airlines joined Star Alliance on 13 May 2010, increasing its foothold in South America. Aegean Airlines, Greece's largest airline by number of passengers, joined on 30 June.
Shanghai Airlines left the alliance on 31 October 2010 when it merged with China Eastern Airlines, a SkyTeam member. On 29 September, the chief executive board approved Ethiopian Airlines as Star Alliance's 30th member. In 2010 the alliance flew to 1,172 airports in 181 countries, with about 21,200 daily departures.
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. On 13 December 2011, Ethiopian Airlines joined, adding five countries and 24 destinations to the alliance's map.
Star Alliance had a tumultuous 2012, with Spanair leaving early in the year when the carrier ceased operations. In early March, Continental merged with United Airlines, ending its membership in the alliance. BMI left on 20 April after its acquisition by International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Oneworld members Iberia and British Airways. On 21 June, Avianca, TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines joined the alliance, increasing its Latin American presence. In November, Blue1 left the alliance, becoming an affiliate of parent Scandinavian Airlines. Shenzhen Airlines joined on 29 November, augmenting Air China's Chinese network.
On 8 March 2013, TAM Airlines announced its departure due to its merger with LAN Airlines to become LATAM Airlines Group. 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. On 13 December, Air India was again invited to begin an integration process with Star Alliance. On 31 March 2014, TAM Airlines moved to Oneworld, and US Airways and an American Airlines affiliate also left the alliance. That day, Avianca Brazil announced that it would join Star Alliance in 2014 as an affiliate of Avianca. 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. Avianca Brazil then joined the alliance on 22 July 2015. Future Connecting Partners member Mango, South African Airways' low-cost subsidiary, will be joining in 3Q 2016.
|Adria Airways||18 November 2004||Nordica|
|Aegean Airlines||30 June 2010||Olympic Air|
|Air Algerie||January 8, 2016||N/A|
|Air Canada[A]||14 May 1997|| Air Canada Express[B][D]
Air Canada Rouge
|Air China||12 December 2007||Dalian Airlines|
|Air India||11 July 2014|| Air India Regional[B][E]
|Air New Zealand||3 May 1999||Air New Zealand Link[B][F]|
|All Nippon Airways||15 October 1999|| Air Japan
|Asiana Airlines||28 March 2003||Air Busan|
|Austrian Airlines||26 March 2000||N/A|
|Avianca||21 June 2012|| Avianca Brazil
Avianca Costa Rica
Avianca El Salvador
|Brussels Airlines||9 December 2009||N/A|
|Copa Airlines||21 June 2012||Copa Airlines Colombia|
|Croatia Airlines||18 November 2004||N/A|
|EgyptAir||11 July 2008|| EgyptAir Express
|Ethiopian Airlines||13 December 2011||N/A|
|EVA Air||18 June 2013|| Uni Air
|LOT Polish Airlines||26 October 2003||LOT Charters|
|Lufthansa[A]||14 May 1997|| Lufthansa Regional[B][C][G]
|14 May 1997||Cimber A/S[B]|
|Shenzhen Airlines||29 November 2012||Kunming Airlines|
|Singapore Airlines||1 April 2000|| Silkair
|South African Airways||10 April 2006|| Airlink
South African Express
|Swiss International Air Lines||1 April 2006|| Swiss Global Air Lines
|TAP Portugal||14 March 2005||TAP Express|
|Thai Airways[A]||14 May 1997||Thai Smile|
|Turkish Airlines||1 April 2008|| Anadolu Jet
|United Airlines[A]||14 May 1997|| United Express[B][H]
A Founding member.
B Airlines operating under Air Canada Express, Air New Zealand Link, Cimber A/S, 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 Air Canada Express flights are operated by Air Georgian, 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.
I South African low-cost airline Mango will join the alliance as a Connecting Partner in the third quarter of 2016.
K Vanilla Air and Tigerair are now part of Value Alliance.
|Ansett Australia||3 May 1999||12 September 2001|| Aeropelican Air Services
|Collapsed on 12 September 2001.|
|Blue1||3 November 2004||1 November 2012||N/A||Left the alliance on 1 November 2012 after SAS took over mainline operations, was a member affiliate of Scandinavian Airlines, and is currently a part of CityJet.|
|British Midland International||1 July 2000||20 April 2012|| BMI regional
|Left the alliance on 20 April 2012 as a result of its merger with International Airlines Group. IAG's subsidiaries Iberia and British Airways are Oneworld members; BMI merged with British Airways on 27 October 2012.|
|Continental Airlines||27 October 2009||3 March 2012|| Continental Connection
|Merged with United Airlines on 3 March 2012.|
|Mexicana||1 July 2000||31 March 2004||Aerocaribe||Left the alliance in 2004 after deciding not to renew a codeshare alliance with United Airlines, opting instead to codeshare with American Airlines, and joined Oneworld on 10 November 2009. Collapsed on 28 August 2010.|
|Shanghai Airlines||12 December 2007||31 October 2010||China United Airlines||Left the alliance on 31 October 2010 as a result of its merger with China Eastern Airlines, a SkyTeam member.|
|Spanair||1 May 2003||27 January 2012||AeBal||Collapsed on 27 January 2012.|
|TACA Airlines||21 June 2012||27 May 2013||TACA Regional||Merged with Avianca on 27 May 2013; renamed Avianca El Salvador.|
|TAM Airlines||13 May 2010||30 March 2014||TAM Paraguay||Left the alliance on 30 March 2014 as a result of its merger with LAN Airlines, a Oneworld member.|
|US Airways||4 May 2004||30 March 2014|| US Airways Express
US Airways Shuttle
|Left the alliance on 30 March 2014 as a result of its merger with American Airlines, a Oneworld member.|
|VARIG||22 October 1997||31 January 2007|| Nordeste
|Ceased operations on 20 July 2006.|
|Former affiliate||Joined||Left||Affiliate of||Notes|
|Air Canada Tango||
||Air Canada||Now part of Air Canada.|
||Air Canada||Now known as Air Canada Express, a subsidiary of Air Canada.|
||All Nippon Airways||Now part of ANA Wings, a subsidiary of ANA.|
||All Nippon Airways||Merged with ANA Wings.|
||Air Canada||Branded as Air Canada Express, a subsidiary of Air Canada.|
|Now part of Cityjet after ceasing operations.|
||LOT Polish Airlines||Now part of LOT Polish Airlines, ceased operations due to unknown reasons.|
|Cyprus Turkish Airlines||
||Turkish Airlines||Now part of Turkish Airlines after going bankrupt.|
||Brussels Airlines||Now part of Brussels Airlines after not gaining enough traction.|
||Austrian Airlines||Replaced by Austrian Airlines operations, now known as Austrian myHoliday.|
||Lufthansa||Now part of Lufthansa.|
||United Airlines||Became part of United Airlines.|
|Swiss Private Aviation||
||Swiss International Air Lines||Absorbed into Swiss International Air Lines.|
||Austrian Airlines||Now part of Austrian Airlines.|
||Air Canada||Absorbed into Air Canada.|
||United Airlines||Became part of United Airlines.|
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.
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".
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.
|Adria Airways||Ljubljana Joe Punik Airport||N/A|
|Aegean Airlines||Athens International Airport
Thessaloniki International Airport
Larnaca International Airport
|Chania International Airport
Corfu International Airport
Heraklion International Airport
Kalamata International Airport
Rhodes International Airport
|Air Canada||Calgary International Airport
Montréal-Trudeau International Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Vancouver International Airport
|Air China||Beijing Capital International Airport
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
|Air India||Indira Gandhi International Airport
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Chennai International Airport
|Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
Kempegowda International Airport
Trivandrum International Airport
Cochin International Airport
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
|Air New Zealand||Auckland Airport
Wellington International Airport
|Los Angeles International Airport
|All Nippon Airways||Kansai International Airport
Narita International Airport
Osaka International Airport
|Chbu Centrair International Airport
New Chitose Airport
|Asiana Airlines||Incheon International Airport
Gimpo International Airport
|Gimhae International Airport
Jeju International Airport
|Austrian Airlines||Vienna International Airport||Innsbruck Airport|
|Avianca||El Dorado International Airport
El Salvador International Airport
Jorge Chávez International Airport
|Juan Santamaría International Airport
Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport
José María Córdova International Airport
La Aurora International Airport
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Miami International Airport
São PauloGuarulhos International Airport
|Brussels Airlines||Brussels Airport||N/A|
|Copa Airlines||Tocumen International Airport
El Dorado International Airport
|José María Córdova International Airport
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport
Juan Santamaría International Airport
La Aurora International Airport
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
|Croatia Airlines||Zagreb Airport||Dubrovnik Airport
|EgyptAir||Cairo International Airport||Borg El Arab Airport
Hurghada International Airport
Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport
|Ethiopian Airlines||Bole International Airport||N/A|
|EVA Air||Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport||Kaohsiung International Airport
|LOT Polish Airlines||Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport||Copernicus Airport Wrocaw
John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice
|Scandinavian Airlines||Copenhagen Airport
Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
|Bergen Airport, Flesland
Stavanger Airport, Sola
Trondheim Airport, Værnes
|Shenzhen Airlines||Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport||Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
Nanjing Lukou International Airport
Nanning Wuxu International Airport
Shenyang Taoxian International Airport
Sunan Shuofang International Airport
|Singapore Airlines||Singapore Changi Airport||N/A|
|South African Airways||OR Tambo International Airport||Cape Town International Airport|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Zürich Airport||Geneva International Airport|
|TAP Portugal||Lisbon Portela Airport
Porto Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport
|Thai Airways International||Suvarnabhumi Airport||Chiang Mai International Airport
Incheon International Airport
Phuket International Airport
|Turkish Airlines||Atatürk International Airport||Adnan Menderes Airport
Esenboa International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
|United Airlines||Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
Denver International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Narita International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
|Barcelona||BarcelonaEl 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||Thai Airways and Scandinavian Airlines (Terminal 2)|
|London||London Heathrow Airport||LHR||Terminal 2||Air India (Terminal 4)|
|Mexico City||Benito Juárez International Airport||MEX||Terminal 1||Copa Airlines (Terminal 2)|
|Miami||Miami International Airport||MIA||Concourse J||United Airlines (Concourse G)|
|Munich||Munich Airport||MUC||Terminal 2||Turkish Airlines (Terminal 1)|
|Moscow||Domodedovo International Airport||DME||Terminal A||Turkish Airlines and some Lufthansa flights at Vnukovo International Airport
|Paris||Charles de Gaulle Airport||CDG||Terminal 1||Air Canada and Ethiopian Airlines (Terminal 2A)
Air India (Terminal 2C)
Austrian Airlines (Terminal 2D)
|Phuket||Phuket International Airport||HKT||Terminal 1||Thai Airways International (partially in Terminal 2)|
|Seoul||Incheon International Airport||ICN||Concourse A||Asiana Airlines (west side of main terminal)|
|Shanghai||Shanghai Pudong International Airport||PVG||Terminal 2|
|Stockholm||Stockholm-Arlanda Airport||ARN||Terminal 5||Scandinavian Airlines domestic flights (Terminal 4)|
|Taipei||Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport||TPE||Terminal 2||Thai Airways International (Terminal 1)|
|Tokyo||Narita International Airport||NRT||Terminal 1 South Wing||Air India (Terminal 2)|
|Toronto||Toronto Pearson International Airport||YYZ||Terminal 1|
|Vienna||Vienna International Airport||VIE||Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (Check-in 3)||Aegean Airlines and Turkish Airlines (Check-in 1)|
Star Alliance has two premium levels (Silver and Gold), based on a customer's status in a member's frequent-flyer program. Member and regional airlines recognize Star Silver and Gold status, with a few exceptions mostly pertaining to airport lounge access. Membership is based on the frequent-flyer programs of the individual airlines. Many members have a premium status beyond Gold, which is not recognized across the alliance.
Star Alliance Silver status is given to customers who have reached a premium level of a member carrier's frequent-flyer program. Benefits are priority reservation wait-listing and airport stand-by. Some airlines also offer priority airport check-in, baggage handling and boarding; preferred seating; an additional checked-luggage allowance, and waived fees for two checked bags.
Star Alliance Gold status is given to customers who have reached a higher level of a member airline's frequent-flyer program. Benefits are priority reservations wait-listing, airport stand-by and check-in and baggage handling; an additional checked luggage allowance of 20 kg (or one extra piece, where the piece rule applies), and access to designated Star Alliance Gold lounges the day and place of departure with the presentation of a Star Alliance boarding pass. Some airlines also offer preferred seating (an exit seat or a special section of the plane); guaranteed seating on fully booked flights, subject to the booking class code and notice period, and free upgrades in the form of a voucher, certificate or automatic upgrade at 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.
|Member airline||Mileage program||Star Silver
LOT Polish Airlines
Swiss International Air Lines
|Miles & More||Frequent Traveller||Senator
|Air Canada||Aeroplan||Prestige 25K
Super Elite 100K
|Air India||Flying Returns||Silver Edge Club||Golden Edge Club
The Maharajah Club
|Air New Zealand||Airpoints||Silver||Gold
|All Nippon Airways||ANA Mileage Club||Bronze||Super Flyers
|Asiana Airlines||Asiana Club||Gold||Diamond
|Avianca Brazil||Programa Amigo||Silver||Gold
|Ethiopian Airlines||Sheba Miles||Silver Club||Gold Club|
|EVA Air||Infinity MileageLands||Infinity MileageLands Silver||Infinity MileageLands Gold
Infinity MileageLands Diamond
|Singapore Airlines||KrisFlyer||Elite Silver||Elite Gold
Solitaire PPS Club
|South African Airways||Voyager||Silver||Gold
|TAP Portugal||Victoria||Silver Winner||Gold Winner|
|Thai Airways International||Royal Orchid Plus||Silver||Gold, Platinum|
|Turkish Airlines||Miles & Smiles||Classic Plus||Elite
|United Airlines||MileagePlus||Premier Silver||Premier Gold
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Star Alliance.|