The airline alliance to which Lufthansa belongs heralds a new era. For the first time, Star Alliance accepts a partner who is not an airline.
When the Star Alliance was formed on May 14, 1997, it had five members: Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada and Thai Airways. Today there are 26 members working together in flights, lounges, IT, and more.
There are also two companies called Connecting Partners, Juneyao Airlines and Thai Smile. You can view flights connected to the Star Alliance network without being a member. But all members and partners have one thing in common: they are airlines.
Soon it’s not just a pure airline alliance
But it won’t stop there. “We have looked at how we can improve and strengthen our network further,” Star Alliance President Jeffrey Goh said Thursday (May 12) in an interview with reporters. “That’s why we’re also now working on a multi-media partnership model.”
Multimodal means that different modes of transportation are integrated into the journey. For example, Switzerland announced on Wednesday that, along with the Swiss Federal Railways, it will add a train line between Munich Central Station and Zurich Airport as a “new route to its multimodal network.”
The new partner is a European company
Now Star Alliance President Goh has announced: “We will soon introduce our first multimedia partner, which we will integrate into Star Alliance.” It’s the first time the airline alliance has taken this step. “It will be a European company,” Goh added. He could not yet state his name and his country of origin.
When asked by aeroTELEGRAPH if they were railroad companies, Goh didn’t say yes, but said, “I guess you’re not that far away.”
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