MIAMI, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Alliance, the world's leading airline
alliance, today broke ground on a dedicated Star Alliance concourse at Miami
International Airport. The Star Alliance concourse, the first of its kind in
North America and one of a number of airport projects that will take place
across the Star Alliance network, is scheduled to open in 2005.
The Star Alliance concourse will provide a smoother and easier travel
experience for travelers arriving, departing or transferring in Miami on any
Star Alliance carrier. The new concourse will consolidate facilities,
including check-in, baggage and gate areas, and will minimize distances and
connecting times needed between carriers. The Star Alliance carriers
currently operating from Miami include Air Canada, Lufthansa, Mexicana, United
and Varig Brazilian Airlines.
"It's fitting that Miami was chosen as the site for the first dedicated
Star Alliance concourse in North America," stated Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance
CEO. "Not only does it underscore Miami's role as a premier aviation hub
throughout the Americas, but it also demonstrates Star's commitment to -- and
importance in -- this market. Taken together, the Star Alliance carriers are
a force to be reckoned with in Miami."
Together, the five Star Alliance carriers serving Miami offer 191 weekly
flights to 19 destinations on three continents. These include eight U.S. and
11 international destinations. Star Alliance carriers handled nearly three
million passengers at Miami International Airport in 2001.
At 318,800 square feet and with 15 gates and a seating capacity of
1,650 passengers, the new Star Alliance concourse is poised to accommodate a
substantially larger traffic flow when completed in 2005. The new concourse
will also include an 18,855 square feet United Red Carpet Club. The lounge,
accessible to all Star Alliance Gold members traveling through Miami, will be
United's second-largest Red Carpet Club in North America.
The Star Alliance concourse is part of a larger South Terminal
construction program at Miami International Airport that will include a
consolidated baggage facility for all Star Alliance carriers, and enhanced
customs and immigration screening facilities for international passengers that
will handle up to 2,000 passengers per hour during peak times. Overall
construction costs on the South Terminal program are estimated at
$658.7 million. The Star Alliance concourse, also known as "J" concourse,
alone accounts for $100 million of the total costs.
"We are very pleased to see the Star Alliance carriers come together under
one roof in the new South Terminal," said Angela Gittens, Miami Dade Aviation
Department director. "We appreciate the long relationship that the airport
has shared with the Star Alliance carriers collectively, and we are glad to
see them as an important part of the airport's future as well."
The Star Alliance concourse in Miami is one of a number of planned
consolidations that will take place under Star Alliance's new "Move Under One
Roof" initiative. Operating under one roof at all major airports within its
extensive route network is a primary goal of Star Alliance, since smooth
connections and coordinated service are critical to today's global travelers.
Other consolidations under consideration include facilities at Paris
-- Charles de Gaulle, Brussels, and Tokyo -- Narita airports.
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.
For further information, please contact Stephan A. Roth, Director,
Corporate Affairs of Star Alliance, +1-310-908-5075.
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SOURCE Star Alliance