Tag Archives: Star Alliance

Avianca Brasil to exit Star Alliance

Ocean Air Linhas Aéreas S/A, headquartered in São Paulo and formerly doing business as Avianca Brasil, will formally leave Star Alliance with effect from September 1, 2019. Star Alliance maintains a competitive network in the region.

Ocean Air’s withdrawal follows several months of bankruptcy protection and the withdrawal of its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by Brazilian regulator ANAC. The Star Alliance network maintains a significant and long-time presence in the Brazilian market continuously since its founding in 1997. As of September 1, 2019, the Alliance will number 27 member airlines.

 

Lufthansa to add two new destinations from Munich this winter

Lufthansa Airbus A319-114 D-AILF (msn 636) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 927603.

Lufthansa has made this announcement:

Lufthansa will be flying towards two new European destinations this winter. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, will be offered from Munich for the first time, starting on November 4, 2019.

Newcastle in northeastern England will follow on February 3, 2020.

Both destinations will be served by an Airbus A319.

Tallinn (above), for example, features an impressive medieval old town: its historic center has been a UNESCO cultural heritage site since 1997. The capital of Estonia is considered one of the most beautiful medieval capitals of the Baltic and is the cultural center of the country. But Tallinn is also the economically strongest city in Estonia. Among other things, it is home to the largest banking sector in the Baltic states. Lufthansa will be flying to Estonia’s capital every Monday, Thursday and Saturday as of November 4.

Newcastle upon Tyne (above) is a significant industrial and transportation center in northeastern England. The city is also considered a stronghold of art and science. Newcastle is the ideal starting point for visits to a variety of national parks and for round trips through northern England. One special attraction is Alnwick Castle, which served as a location for a number of Harry Potter films. As of February 3, 2020, air travelers will be able to reach the English metropolis nonstop from Munich every day but Saturday.

Top Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Airbus A319-114 D-AILF (msn 636) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 927603.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

Star Alliance unveils a refurbished lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle

The Star Alliance has made this announcement:

Star Alliance has officially completed the refurbishment of its lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport. The 980 square metre facility offers seating for more than 220 guests and features stylish elements inspired by Parisian design and architecture.

The lounge is available to First and Business Class customers as well as Star Alliance Gold members travelling from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport – Terminal 1 on the following Star Alliance member airlines: Aegean, Air China, ANA, Asiana, EGYPTAIR, Eva Air, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.

Christian Dräger, Star Alliance VP Customer Experience, commented: “The newly renovated Star Alliance Lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle ties in seamlessly in our strategy of making the customer journey better. We are delighted to be able to offer our guests travelling from or transiting through Paris now with an unparalleled hospitality experience in a well equipped environment, where they can sit back, relax and enjoy their journey.”

The lounge, which was first opened in 2008, is located behind passport control at the highest point of the terminal building – levels 10 and 11 – and provides a panoramic view of the airport from the upper floor. Open daily from 05.30am to 10.00pm depending on the flight schedule, the refurbished lounge offers a range of facilities catering to the diverseneeds of today’s frequent travellers. A particulary striking feature is the landscaped garden, which gives guests the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor area reminiscent of the green spaces of Paris before their flight.

The lounge also offers an exclusive zone for customers travelling in First Class on Air China, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways operated flights.

Customers are offered a wide range of complimentary drinks and can choose from a selection of international hot and cold menus featuring some typically French delights.

Comfortable and quiet work spaces are located on both levels and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access is available throughout the lounge. Specific attention was paid to a significant increase of power sockets to make sure guest can stay connected at all times. Shower facilities, state-of-the-art television screens and a wide selection of international newspapers and magazines round off the service.

The lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Terminal 1 is among seven other Star Alliance branded lounges, which are located at Amsterdam (AMS), Buenos Aires (EZE), Los Angeles (LAX), Nagoya (NGO), Rio de Janeiro (GIG) Rome (FCO) and Sao Paulo (GRU).

In total, 21 Star Alliance member carriers operate from Paris – CDG, offering 142 daily flights to 41 destinations in 25 countries: Aegean, Air Canada, Air India, Eva Air, Air China, Ethiopian Airlines, Adria, Lufthansa, Lot Polish Airlines, Swiss, Egyptair, All Nippon Airways, Austrian, Croatia Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.

All photos by the Star Alliance.

United Airlines expands partnership with Copa Airlines and Avianca

United Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N78017 (msn 31679) (Star Alliance) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 944609.

United Airlines today announced it has reached an agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa Airlines), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca’s affiliates, for a joint business agreement (JBA) that, pending government approval, is expected to provide substantial benefits for customers, communities and the marketplace for air travel between the United States and 19 countries in Central and South America.

Many more choices for customers

By integrating their complementary route networks into a collaborative revenue-sharing JBA, United, Avianca and Copa plan to offer customers many benefits, including:

  • Integrated, seamless service in more than 12,000 city pairs
  • New nonstop routes
  • Additional flights on existing routes
  • Reduced travel times

Drive economic benefits for consumers and the communities we serve

The carriers expect the JBA to drive significant traffic growth at major gateway cities coast to coast, which is expected to help bring new investment and create more economic development opportunities. Further, the JBA is expected to provide customers with expanded codeshare flight options, competitive fares, a more streamlined travel experience and better customer service, resulting in significant projected consumer benefits.

Better serve our customers

Additionally, allowing the three carriers to serve customers as if they were a single airline is expected to enable the companies to better align their frequent flyer programs, coordinate flight schedules and improve airport facilities.

“This agreement represents the next chapter in U.S.-Latin American air travel,” said Scott Kirby, United’s president. “We are excited to work with our Star Alliance partners Avianca and Copa to bring much-needed competition and growth to many underserved markets while providing a better overall experience for business and leisure customers traveling across the Western Hemisphere.”

“We are delighted to further solidify our existing partnership with United Airlines and look forward to increasing service options for our customers by working more closely with Avianca,” said Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines’ chief executive officer. “We believe this agreement benefits our passengers by providing competitive fares and a superior network of more than 275 destinations throughout Latin America and the U.S., and promotes further growth and innovation within the airline industry in the Americas.”

“We are certain that together we are stronger in the United StatesLatin America market than any of the three airlines individually,” said Hernan Rincon, Avianca’s executive president – chief executive officer. “This partnership will allow Avianca to strengthen its position as a first-level player in the airline industry in America as we will expand our scope in the continent with United and Copa, offering better connectivity to our customers.”

JBAs drive competition that benefits customers

Although JBAs have been proven around the world to benefit consumers and enhance competition, currently 99 percent of the U.S. carrier passenger traffic that makes connections in Central and South America does so without a JBA. Competition in the U.S.-Latin American market has grown and includes a diverse set of carriers offering service across multiple price points. Yet the market lacks a comprehensive revenue-sharing, metal-neutral network of carriers and the associated heightened competitive forces that drive value and better consumer experiences. The JBA represents an innovative, best-in-class new product offering that will make competition in this robust market even stronger.

“Our analysis shows that a metal-neutral JBA among United, Copa and Avianca will provide substantial benefits to consumers traveling between the relevant countries,” said Dr. Darin Lee, executive vice president of economic consulting firm Compass Lexecon and airline industry expert. “This JBA will enable United, Copa and Avianca to compete more effectively, offer competitive fares, and increase service, encouraging innovation and establishing a more robust and vibrant marketplace.”

To enable the deep coordination required to deliver these benefits to consumers, communities and the marketplace, United, Copa and Avianca plan to apply in the near term for regulatory approval of the JBA and an accompanying grant of antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies. The parties do not plan on fully implementing the JBA until they receive the necessary government approvals. The JBA currently includes cooperation between the U.S. and Central and South America, excluding Brazil.  With the recently concluded Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and Brazil, the carriers are exploring the possibility of adding Brazil to the JBA.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): United Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N78017 (msn 31679) (Star Alliance) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 944609.

United aircraft slide show (Boeing):

United Airlines announces new international routes

United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER N653UA (msn  25391) (Star Alliance) LHR (SPA). Image: 924670.

United Airlines has made this announcement:

Strengthening the world’s most comprehensive route network, United Airlines today announced customers have new international routes to choose from in 2019 including daily, year-round service between San Francisco and Amsterdam and new nonstop seasonal summer service between Newark and Naples, Italy, the only nonstop flight from North America to Naples, as well as Newark and Prague, subject to government approval.

New Daily, Year-Round Service Between San Francisco and Amsterdam

Beginning March 30, 2019, United will be the only U.S. carrier to offer nonstop service between San Francisco and Amsterdam and is the airline’s fifth nonstop flight to the Netherlands. United currently operates daily, year-round services between Amsterdam and Chicago, Houston, Newark and Washington Dulles.

United has operated nonstop service to Amsterdam for more than 25 years and currently offers daily nonstop service between Amsterdam and its hubs in Chicago, Houston, Newark and Washington, D.C.

Flight

Frequency

City Pair

Depart

Arrive

Aircraft

UA 968

Daily

SFO – AMS

2:55 p.m.

10:20 a.m. +1

Boeing 787-9

UA 969

Daily

AMS – SFO

2:50 p.m.

4:50 p.m.

Boeing 787-9

New Summer Service Between Newark and Naples, Italy

United will be the only carrier offering customers nonstop service between the U.S. and Naples, Italy, beginning May 22, 2019 through October 4, 2019.

United’s daily, summer service will connect customers traveling from New York/Newark to Naples, Southern Italy’s largest city. Visitors to Naples enjoy the city’s castles, architecture, art and world-famous cuisine as well as nearby Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed the nearby Roman town of Pompeii. Naples also serves as a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination.

United’s new service to Naples will be its sixth nonstop service to Italy and is conveniently timed for connecting customers from more than 60 destinations across the United States.

Flight

Frequency

City Pair

Depart

Arrive

Aircraft

UA 964

Daily

EWR – NAP

5:25 p.m.

8:05 a.m. +1

Boeing 767-300

UA 965

Daily

NAP – EWR

10:10 a.m.

2:05 p.m.    

Boeing 767-300

New Summer Service Between Newark and Prague, Czech Republic

Beginning June 6, 2019 through October 4, 2019, United will offer daily nonstop seasonal service between Newark and Prague, also known as the Golden City, the City of a Hundred Spires and the jewel in the crown of Central Europe.

Flight

Frequency

City Pair

Depart

Arrive

Aircraft

UA 188

Daily

EWR – PRG

6:05 p.m.

8:25 a.m. +1

Boeing 767-300

UA 187

Daily

PRG – EWR

10:10 a.m.

1:30 p.m.

Boeing 767-300

Next year United will resume nonstop seasonal service between eight U.S. airports and more than 20 destinations in Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico including popular destinations like Porto, Portugal; Reykjavik, Iceland; Athens, Greece and Venice, Italy. As previously announced, United will also begin the only nonstop service between Washington Dulles and Tel Aviv, Israel next year.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by United): United Airlines Boeing 767-322 ER N653UA (msn 25391) (Star Alliance) LHR (SPA). Image: 924670.

United aircraft slide show (Boeing):

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Star Alliance expands connection service to Toronto Pearson Airport

The Star Alliance Connection Service is now available at Toronto Pearson Airport. This assists passengers with tight connections between two Star Alliance member airline flights. Dedicated Connection Service staff use special software to monitor the transfer window for customers with onward flights. Cases where passengers and checked bags appear in danger of missing a connection are automatically highlighted. The Connection Service agent can thereby already consider the various options available to ensure that the customer reaches the onward flight, or if necessary book alternative options, before the inbound flight even lands.

“With Connection Service now available in Toronto, we will ensure that more passengers with tight connections can make their onward flight, thereby improving the travel experience at one of our main hubs in North America. We are presently working on the expansion of this service to more key hubs in our network”, said Christian Draeger, Star Alliance Vice President Customer Experience.

Toronto is the 13th biggest Star Alliance transfer hub world-wide, with more than 400,000 passengers connecting from one Star Alliance carrier to another each year.

In addition to home carrier Air Canada, the following Star Alliance member carriers serve Toronto:  Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines and United. Together they offer more than 6,000 flights per week connecting Toronto to 159 destinations in 59 countries.

“Connection Service helps enhance the airport experience for our customers travelling on Star Alliance itineraries by streamlining the behind-the-scenes processing when handling tight connections which may arise. This further strengthens the position of our Toronto Pearson global hub offering convenient connections to almost anywhere in the world,” stated Benjamin Smith, President, Airlines and Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada.

Star Alliance has been operating Connection Centres for more than a decade. In place at 11 hub airports, these have largely been working behind the scenes on expediting checked bags at risk of missing their onward flight. In addition, assisting passengers with tight connections was an additional service offered in Frankfurt, Houston and Munich. As part of the Alliance’s strategy of further improving the customer journey, the Star Alliance Connection Service brand was rolled out last year, along with the plan of adding passenger assistance at all locations and expanding the overall product to more locations.

Chicago (ORD) was the first airport where the Connections Services brand was introduced last year and passenger assistance added to the baggage expedite. With Toronto (YYZ) now also offering Connection Service, the combined passenger and baggage expedite is now available at the following Star Alliance hubs: Chicago (ORD), Frankfurt (FRA), Houston (IAH), Munich (MUC) and Toronto (YYZ). At present, baggage-only expedite is offered at Denver (DEN), London(LHR), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington (IAD).

Marketing Campaign
In order to increase the awareness of this service, Star Alliance is currently running a multi-channel marketing campaign. The centrepiece is a short entertaining film which illustrates the product’s benefits. A press ad, a wide range of social media assets and a dedicated web presence on connection service round off the campaign. The content will be broadcast in the Alliance’s owned channels, as well as across the member carriers’ own outlets and via local market sales channels.

Photos: Air Canada and Star Alliance.

Air China launches a new Chengdu – London route

Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China Ltd. launched a new, nonstop service between Chengdu and London on July 3, 2018. The nonstop route will carry Air China passengers from China’s “Land of Abundance” to the beautiful banks of the river Thames.

In recent years, Air China has been expanding its international and domestic route networks, centered around its main hub in Beijing, and supported by its three regional bases in Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. As part of this effort, Air China has recently launched international routes between Chengdu and Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney and Bangkok. Given its geographical advantage, this year Air China will continue to develop Chengdu as a hub and expand its route coverage there, stepping up passenger throughput to European destinations.

Currently, Air China operates 82 routes out of Chengdu. These include 14 international/regional routes to destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Rangoon, Kathmandu, Colombo, Hong Kong and Taipei, covering the continents of Asia, Europe and Oceania. As a member of the Star Alliance network, Air China also offers convenient routes to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.

Flight information:

The ChengduLondon route is operated under flight numbers CA423/4 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays every week. Outbound flights depart from Chengdu at 15:45 and arrive in London at 20:00; return flights depart from London at 22:00 and arrive in Chengdu at 15:40 the following day (all times are local). The new route is operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Business Class travellers enjoy lie-flat seats, while all booking classes enjoy personal in-flight entertainment, ensuring passengers can stretch out and travel in comfort.

Copyright Photo: Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China aircraft slide show: