Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines is set to join Star Alliance following the approval of its application by the CEOs of the other member airlines.
The airline will improve Star Alliance routes to Africa, with a fleet of 45 aircraft serving 15 destinations on the continent, as well as 55 European airports.
Glenn Tilton, chairman, president and CEO of United, who chaired 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, added: “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.”
This is a logical move as Lufthansa, a founding member of Star Alliance, recently purchased a 45 per cent share in Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa also takes the role of sponsor for the Belgian carrier while it integrates into the alliance.
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.”
For members of Privilege, Brussels Airlines’ loyalty programme, there will be more opportunity for rewards as members will be able to earn points with any Star Alliance airline. Likewise, loyalty programme members of the other Star Alliance airlines will be able to earn points on routes with Brussels Airlines.
Brazilian airline TAM announced it would be joining the alliance earlier this year (see online news October 10), while Air India and Continental are currently members-elect (see online news June 20, July 10).
Report by Sara Turner