Star Alliance Welcomes Singapore Airlines as Newest Member CEOs Reflect on Three Years of Advances in Meeting Customer Travel Needs



    SINGAPORE, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Chief executives of some of the world's
 leading airlines today gathered in Singapore to welcome Singapore Airlines as
 the newest member of Star Alliance(TM) -- "the airline network for earth."
 Singapore Airlines becomes the eleventh member of the Alliance, and the second
 to join this year.
     "There are few areas left in the world where Star Alliance doesn't have a
 significant presence," said Dr. Cheong Choong Kong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of
 Singapore Airlines.  "But big is not necessarily beautiful.  Enhanced benefits
 to the customer, such as easier access to a global network, more travel
 options, and seamless and convenient connections -- these are beautiful, and
 these are the reasons why SIA is joining the Star Alliance network."
     An innovator and leader in customer service, Singapore Airlines and its
 regional subsidiary, SilkAir, fly to 93 destinations in 42 countries, serving
 Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East, the South West Pacific, and
 Africa.  Renowned for its superb inflight service, the airline regularly
 receives accolades from international organizations and publications involved
 in travel, tourism or business.
     The other members of the Star Alliance network are Air Canada, Air New
 Zealand, All Nippon Airways - ANA, Ansett Australia, the Austrian Airlines
 Group (comprising Austrian Airlines, Lauda Air and Tyrolean Airways),
 Lufthansa German Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System - SAS, Thai Airways
 International, United Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines.  Mexicana
 Airlines and British Midland Airways are scheduled to join the Alliance later
 in the year.
     "We are very pleased to have Singapore Airlines join our Alliance," said
 Air Canada CEO Robert Milton, speaking on behalf of the other Star Alliance
 CEOs.  "The Asia-Pacific region is an extremely important market for all of
 us, and having another fine carrier in the region will provide additional
 choice and destinations for our customers."
 
     CEOs look back on three years of success
     During their board meeting in Singapore, which falls on the eve of the
 third anniversary of the creation of the Alliance, the member airline CEOs
 reflected on the progress they have made in realizing the vision of Star
 Alliance that was set out at the launch in May 1997.
     The CEOs said they were satisfied that, in just three years, the Star
 Alliance network has re-shaped international air travel, and delivered the
 wide range of benefits anticipated at the launch.  When the Alliance was
 created, the original five members pledged to provide customers with
 unsurpassed global access and seamless service.  Initially, this simply meant
 allowing loyal customers to accumulate mileage points on all member airlines
 that counted toward top-tier status in the frequent flyer plan of their
 choice, as well as providing them reciprocal privileges at airport lounges.
 But that quickly changed as many new benefits were added.
     At the launch, the CEOs promised that the Star Alliance network would
 result in access to more flights and destinations, simplified ticketing and
 reservations, more convenient connections, and better baggage and ground
 services -- all of which combine to create a hassle-free, seamless travel
 experience.
     In the three years since, Star Alliance has delivered on all the promises
 of Day One:
 
     -- More than 2,500 flights daily and more than 250 destinations have been
        added to the Star Alliance network since 1997, and member airlines have
        adjusted their arrival and departure times to make for more convenient
        connections.
     -- Passengers on flights connecting from one Star Alliance carrier to
        another are now checked through all the way to their destination, with
        boarding passes for all legs of the journey -- eliminating the need to
        check in at transfer desks for seat assignment.
     -- Travelers can use the Internet to select their Star Alliance flight and
        make their own reservations through the Star Alliance website,
        www.star-alliance.com .  The new, user-friendly system makes travel
        planning easy by being available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and
        only a mouse-click away.
     -- Wherever possible, Star Alliance airlines are moving their airport
        facilities to be close to one another, speeding up and simplifying
        connections.  The most recent example of this "under-one-roof" approach
        is Rio de Janeiro.
     -- Frequent flyers who attain "Star Alliance Gold" or "Star Alliance
        Silver" status are given special recognition by all the member
        airlines, and are given priority service, such as Priority Check-in and
        Priority Baggage Handling.
     -- The reciprocal privileges at airport lounges has now been extended to
        more than 500 lounges worldwide [see separate release issued today].
 
     "No one airline on its own can offer this range of benefits, the scope of
 destinations or the ease of travel that we can offer together, through the
 Star Alliance network," said Rono Dutta, United Airlines President.
 
 

SOURCE Star Alliance

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