Star Alliance turns 25, launches ‘credit card’

Star is the oldest of three airline alliances and the largest with 26 members. The other two are oneworld: founded in 1999 (thirteen members) and SkyTeam, founded in 2000, now with eighteen members, including KLM and Air France.

In a birthday message, Star Alliance writes that on May 14, 1997, the five founders: United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa had a “daring vision” to collaborate in aviation, making the alliance a large organization.

Afterwards, Singapore Airlines, Air China and Turkish Airlines, among others, joined Star, whose headquarters is located in Frankfurt.

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An alliance means that the airlines enter into different levels of cooperation with each other. This can take the form of codeshares (although these are also frequently closed outside of alliances), frequent flyer sharing programs and marketing programs.

The fuselage of the aircraft usually bears an indication, referring to the alliance of which the respective carrier is part.

Based on pre-pandemic figures, Star carried the most passengers worldwide, with 762 million passengers in 2019, 630 million in SkyTeam and 535 million in oneworld.

Meanwhile, Star Alliance has announced plans to launch a joint credit card that would serve as a frequent flyer card in addition to regular payments. The exact form of this is not yet clear. For example, no bank is mentioned through which the card would run.

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