The airline alliance to which Lufthansa belongs heralds a new era. For the first time, Star Alliance accepts a partner that 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, 26 members work together on flights, lounges, IT and more.
There are also two so-called Connecting Partners, Juneyao Airlines and Thai Smile. You can offer connecting flights to the Star Alliance network without being a member. But all members and partners have one thing in common: they are airlines.
Soon more than a pure airline alliance
But it won’t stop there. “We have been looking at how we can further improve and strengthen our network,” Star Alliance boss Jeffrey Goh said Thursday, May 12, in an interview with reporters. “That’s why we are now also working on an intermodal partnership model.”
Intermodal means that different means of transport are combined for the journey. For example, Swiss announced on Wednesday that together with the Swiss Federal Railways, they would add a rail link between Munich Central Station and Zurich Airport as a new “route to their intermodal network”.
The new partner is a European company
Star Alliance boss Goh has now announced: “We will soon introduce our first intermodal partner, which we will integrate into Star Alliance.” This is the first time an airline alliance has taken this step. “It will be a European company,” added Goh. He could not yet give his name and country of origin.
When asked by aeroTELEGRAPH if it was train companies, Goh didn’t say yes, but said, “I think you’re not that far.”