Star Alliance, the World’s Leading Airline Alliance

Alliances are important in nearly all fields and aviation is among these fields as well. Airline alliances allow airline companies to achieve their goals in cooperation with each other and take advantage of many benefits such as the ability to network more effectively. Only a handful of airline alliances dominate the whole market and among these, Star Alliance gets the largest piece of the pie. Serving more than 700 million passangers in nearly 200 countries and with 1294 destination airports, Star Alliance has been named “World’s Leading Airline Alliance” many times in the World Travel Awards. Here on this blog post we are going to discuss this huge airline alliance and learn more about it.

Star Alliance members
United Airlines

The History Of The Star Alliance

On the 14th of May 1997, five airlines, United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa, were brought together with the agreement that launched the Star Alliance. The goal of the alliance was to “take passengers to every major city on earth”. Over time several airlines from different continents have joined the alliance and in a couple of years it was serving in over 100 countries and with more than 700 destinations.

The expansion phase of the alliance started in 2000, 3 years after its launch. In 2000, many new members, such as Austrian Airlines Group, Singapore Airlines and Mexicana, have joined the alliance. Along with this, the alliance opened its first business centers in Los Angeles, Frankfurt and Bangkok, also announcing the formation of alliance’s executive body, Alliance Management Team, in the process. Offering new choices with advantages and carrying customer loyalty ratings up, this period was the period when it was Star Alliance’s time to grow. Over the following years more airlines joined the alliance and it kept growing.

By the 10th anniversary of the Star Alliance, it was serving in 155 countries with 855 destinations and carrying over 400 million passangers annually. During this period, the alliance joined a partnership with UNESCO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Ramsar Convention that is called Biosphere Connections, which aimed to support sustainability in the environment. Then until 2012, the alliance made great use of the momentum it gained earlier and kept adding members to its organization. Some airlines left the alliance while some ceased operations in the 2012 and 2013 period. However, with new integrations, Star Alliance managed to keep expanding and now it is among the three largest airline alliances in the world.

Current Members And Affiliates Of The Star Alliance

Founding members

  • Air Canada
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • United Airlines

Other members

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines

Former Members Of The Star Alliance

  • Adria Airways
  • Ansett Australia
  • Avianca Brasil
  • Blue1
  • British Midland International
  • Continental Airlines
  • Mexicana
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • Spanair
  • TACA Airlines
  • TAM Airlines
  • US Airways


Anon. (n.d.), Star Alliance, Wikipedia, Retrieved 12 January 2022

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Japan Today Editor (24 December 2021), Star Alliance named World’s Leading Airline Alliance, Japan Today, Retrieved 12 January 2022

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