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A brief history of the Star Alliance

The Star Alliance celebrated its 25th Birthday on May 14th, But why was it started and which airlines formed it? Join me as I take a brief look into the history of the alliance.

Lufthansa was one of the 5 founding members (credit: flickr.com)

When was it formed?

Star Alliance is the world’s largest alliance, being formed by 5 airlines in 1997. The 5 founding airlines were United, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, SAS and Air Canada. It was discussed for a while before finally officially being launched on May 14th, 1997 by the 5 airlines. The Airline quickly began to pick up members with the joining of VARIG 6 months after its formation before ANA, Ansett Australia, and Air New Zealand all became new members in 1999.

There were 5 founding members to begin with (credit: reddit.com)

Why was the Alliance formed?

Like Most Alliances, the Star Alliance was mainly formed for Codesharing purposes. This is when an airline allows its passengers to fly with other Alliance members to get to other destinations. The main benefit of this is that airlines are able to make more money as they have a wider array of destinations to offer. The Alliance started Codesharing flights 5 months after its launch, as it became a new thing to passengers as it was the oldest large alliance and so was new.

Which airlines make up the Star Alliance?

The Star Alliance currently contains 26 member airlines which have a combined fleet of 5,033 aircraft and serve every single country in the world. The Star Alliance currently flies to around 1,300 airports. Noticeable members of the star alliance include: Lufthansa, ANA, Avianca, Swiss Airlines, LOT Polish airlines and Ethiopian Airlines. The Star Alliance allows passengers to fly and use air miles on any of the member airlines making it easier and more accessible to fly to different destinations.

Currently, 26 airlines make up the star alliance (credit: lufthansagroup.com)


  • simpleflying.com
  • wikipedia.com
  • miles-and-more.com

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