Chief Executive Board Approves Membership
Chicago, Illinois – December 11th, 2008 – At their annual Board Meeting, the CEO’s of the Star Alliance member airlines have today voted to accept the application of Brussels Airlines to become a future member of the alliance.
Brussels Airlines is the Belgian airline offering the widest choice of flights to and from the “capital” of Europe. With a fleet of 45 aircraft the airline operates some 300 daily flights to 55 European airports and also serves 15 African destinations.
Glenn Tilton, Chairman, President and CEO of United, in his role as chairman of the meeting said “Brussels Airlines further strengthens the Star Alliance by offering greater connectivity throughout Europe and Africa to better serve the international travel needs of all our customers.”
Bernard Gustin, Managing Director of Brussels Airlines, said “We are very happy with this invitation from Star Alliance and we look forward to becoming a member carrier. Together we will be able to bring all the advantages of Star Alliance to our customers, both at the heart of Europe where we have our state of the art hub, and to Africa – our second home where we have more than 80 years of experience.”
For the upcoming integration in Star Alliance, Brussels Airlines will be assisted by its sponsor Lufthansa. Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said “Brussels Airlines is known for its reliability and brings into the alliance a trusted product. The leading Belgian carrier will significantly increase the presence of Star Alliance at Brussels Airport and will offer the easiest access to a couple of African destinations new to the network.”
Through its membership in Star Alliance, Brussels Airlines will be able to offer its passengers a variety of benefits. On the network side for instance, the airline will be able to offer its passengers seamless travel across the Star Alliance network.
Frequent Flyers inscribed in the Brussels Airlines Privilege programme will be able to collect and redeem miles on all other Star Alliance member carriers.
In order to provide all the alliance benefits, the specialised teams at Brussels Airlines, Star Alliance and its member carriers will now be working on the integration process, which once completed, will make Brussels Airlines a part of the Star Alliance network, currently consisting of 21 members.
About Brussels Airlines:
Brussels Airlines is the Belgian airline that offers the widest choice of flights to and from its base in Brussels Airport. The group’s 3000 employees and 45 aircraft operate some 300 punctual flights daily, connecting the Capital of Europe to some 70 premium European and African airports.
On its European routes, operated with AVRO, Airbus A319 and Boeing 737, Brussels Airlines offers the choice of an ultra-flexible product, which offers timesaving and comfort at reasonable prices: b.flex economy +, and a low prices product: b.light economy. On medium- and long-haul flights, the airline operates traditional business or economy class. Long-haul flights to Africa are operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Brussels Airlines is owned by SN Airholding and is backed up by more than 80 years of aviation experience in Belgium. On 15 September 2008, Lufthansa Group announced an equity investment in the Belgian airline. Subject to EU approval, Lufthansa acquires 45 % of the SN Airholding shares.
About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance received the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award in 2008 and was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and by Skytrax in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 16,500 daily flights to 912 destinations in 159 countries.
*Note: Figures based on current Star Alliance network + future members Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental and TAM.
For further information please contact:
Star Alliance Press Office
Tel: +49 69 96375 183
Fax: +49 69 96375 683