Star Alliance turns 25 – What does Lufthansa say? – Airway Magazine

DALLAS – Talk about airline alliances! It’s been almost 25 years for the largest in the world – the Star Alliance, founded by five airlines in Frankfurt, Germany on May 14, 1997.

Over the years, this network of alliances and its members have grown from five to twenty-six airline partners with more than 50 global hubs.

All network airlines benefit from their partners’ network as if it were their own. The similarity in terms of IT solutions and booking platforms, the same baggage rules and, of course, access to lounges at hub airports. The alliance has its primary control in Frankfurt and a secondary control office in Singapore.

Current members | Image: Star Alliance

The five founders and who is part of them now?


Five airlines from three continents United Airlines (UA), Scandinavian Airlines (SK), Thai Airways (TG), Air Canada (AC) and Lufthansa (LH) have teamed up to trace the “star” with an initial budget of 25 million of dollars . And a slogan? “The aerial network for the Earth” was chosen.

In no time, Varig (RG) from Brazil with Air New Zealand (NZ) and ANA (NH) joined the club, and then the alliance only grew and expanded its portfolio.
Today, the Star Alliance network serves 98% of the countries in the world with 26 partner airlines.

19,000 daily departures, a common fleet of 5,033 aircraft to 1,300 destinations in 195 countries, numbers indeed. Skyteam follows as the second largest airline alliance with 19 active member airlines and 15,445 daily flights to 1,036 destinations in 170 countries. Oneworld comes third with 14 active member airlines operating to 900 destinations in 170 territories.

Photo: Lufthansa

Lufthansa on Star Alliance turns 25


Of course, the alliance is a big deal for Lufthansa since both are based in Frankfurt (FRA). This may seem like the workhorse of the star alliance, even if it is, the LH CEO makes it clear how important partner airlines are to the overall picture.

“We would never be as big as we are if we didn’t have Star Alliance power and unpower. In order to fill a jumbo from Frankfurt to Los Angeles, it must be “fed” with guests from up to 50 smaller departure airports”.

Carsten Spohr is still convinced of the advantages of the “Star Alliance” airline alliance. “From the customer’s point of view, no airline in the world can provide this global coverage,” said the boss of Lufthansa, a key alliance partner with US carrier United for 25 years.

But it’s 2022, and the airline industry environment today is vastly different than it was 25 years ago. Do airline alliances like Star Alliance have a future? The rise of joint ventures and codeshare agreements is putting the alliance network on the shelf.


Featured Image: Five Founders of Star Alliance | Photo: Star Alliance Twitter

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