ZURICH, Switzerland, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Alliance(TM), the airline network for Earth, today officially inaugurated its first airport lounge in an exclusive Star Alliance design at Zurich International Airport. The 6,900 square feet (637 square meter) facility is a prototype for future Star Alliance lounges that the global airline partnership plans to open at a number of airports within its extensive route network. Locations currently being evaluated include Brussels, Buenos Aires, Manila and Terminal Four at Los Angeles International Airport. Star Alliance elite-status customers already have access to more than 550 airport lounges worldwide on six continents, more than any other alliance. Common Star Alliance lounges like the one in Zurich provide a solution for those markets where individual Star Alliance carriers do not generate enough traffic to warrant their own facilities. Situated in Terminal B of Zurich International Airport, the Star Alliance lounge has a seating capacity of 30 in the First Class section and 130 in the Business Class area. The lounge welcomes Star Alliance First and Business Class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members holding a ticket on any one of the six alliance airlines which operate from the Swiss airport: Air Canada, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International. Together, the Star Alliance carriers offer 36 daily departures out of Zurich. The Star Alliance lounge in Zurich was designed by Toronto architects Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB). With its extensive use of natural stone, wood -- in particular walnut and birch -- and woven metal screens, the concept is that of an urban garden. The lounge caters to travelers seeking to relax as well as to those doing business. Lounge seating is comfortable and casual, yet elegant, offering a mix of high-quality classic and contemporary Italian furniture design. A separate section of the business class area is reserved for workstation desks equipped with internet connections, telephones and fax machines. The design concept carries over beyond the lounge itself to include all airport-related Star Alliance facilities such as dedicated Star Alliance check-in and sales counters, transfer facilities and baggage service facilities. This facility's design will also be implemented at other airports throughout the network. Star Alliance was established in May 1997. It groups 15 of the world's leading airlines in a partnership designed to provide customers the benefits of global reach and a smooth travel experience. The member airlines are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA - All Nippon Airways, Ansett Australia, Austrian Airlines, bmi british midland, Lauda Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Tyrolean Airways, United Airlines and Varig Brazilian Airlines.
SOURCE Star Alliance