Open to other modes of transportation: Star Alliance’s new partner will not be an airline

The aviation alliance to which Lufthansa belongs ushers in a new era. For the first time, Star Alliance accepts a partner other than 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 there are 26 members working 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: it’s the airlines.

Soon not just a pure air alliance

But it won’t stop there. “We looked at how we can further improve and strengthen our network,” Star Alliance chief Jeffrey Goh said in an interview with reporters on Thursday (May 12). “This is 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 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 Head Goh has now announced: “We will soon be introducing our first intermodal partner, which we will integrate into the Star Alliance.” It is the first time that an air 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 they were railway companies, Goh didn’t say yes, but said, “I think you’re not that far away.”

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