Continental Airlines will leave Skyteam on October 24 and join rivals Star Alliance shortly after, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.
The report on the newspaper’s website said the announcement was made by Continental’s CEO Larry Kellner during a conference call. The news will give some clarity to members of both of the frequent flyer alliances, as until now the airline had not given an exact date for the defection.
It means that Skyteam members will no longer be able to collect points when flying with Continental after this date, and equally it might persuade Star members to choose the airline when booking forward flights.
The move will also see Star once again having a carrier plying the all-important London-New York route. The global alliance had been without a member airline on the route since 2006 when United sold the rights to its London-New York route to Delta (another Skyteam member).
Report by Mark Caswell