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
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
-- 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