Star Alliance’s Chief
Executive Board, comprising the CEOs of all 28 member airlines,
held its summer board meeting in Frankfurt on Sunday, 14 May,
during which the CEOs will be briefed on the progress of the
Alliance’s current business plan and future strategy.
falls exactly 20 years to the day when its founder members – Air
Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways and United – announced that they
would join foces to form the world`s first global aviation
“Our founding fathers had a very forward
thinking vision back in 1997,” said Jeffrey Goh, who took over as
CEO of Star Alliance in January of this year. “From that moment on
Star Alliance was destined to drive innovation in the airline
industry. We have done this successfully for the last 20 years,
constantly striving to meet that original vision of a global
network seamlessly integrated for international travel.”
The Alliance enters its third decade with a strong and
comprehensive network serving over 1,300 destinations in 191
countries. Connectivity continues to expand by member carriers
launching new routes and increasing frequencies, while network
reach will grow through the addition of local and regional
airlines through the Connecting Partner concept.
this background, the Alliance’s clear strategic focus has shifted
from network expansion, to providing a seamless experience
especially to the over 14 million annual customers who connect
between member carriers on their journeys. Going forward, digital
technologies will lie at the heart of this strategy.
“Access to instant information updates online from more or less
anywhere has irrevocably changed the expectations of customers as
they travel,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines and
current chairman of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board.
“Passengers want to have control over their journey at their
fingertips. That means having full access to a wealth of
information, but also being able to personalise it to their own
particular requirements. Providing such services to today’s
‘digital’ traveller on an alliance level is the central pillar of
our new strategic focus.”
The IT hub infrastructure which
the Alliance has put in place in recent years has allowed for the
better integration of back-end services between the member
airlines. With this now in place, we can start building and
offering digital applications. The new IT hub infrastructure has
already enabled the Alliance to, for example, improve the
reliability of such processes as through-check in for
multi-carrier itineraries or ensuring fast crediting of accrued
frequent flyer miles into the correct customer account.
another Alliance first, in the unlikely case of missing miles,
members in any Star Alliance frequent flyer programme (FFP) can
now claim these online, through their own FFP website, even when
the miles were collected on another Star Alliance member carrier
The baggage hub, the most recent IT hub project,
went live at the end of 2016, and facilitates baggage message
transfer between the member airlines, their ground handlers and
the baggage handling systems at the airports. Today it processes
on average five million baggage messages a day. This allows the
airlines to better steer baggage operations and to keep customers
informed on the status of their bag. Once implemented across the
entire network, it will become easier to give customers proactive
updates on their baggage delivery status.
existing IT Hub, Star Alliance has now introduced a new
functionality which allows front line employees to better assist
customers in case of irregularities. Should their feeder flight be
delayed, the connecting boarding pass information can now be
accessed by the airline operating the feeder flight, thus enabling a
faster and simpler rebooking process. Up to now, such transactions
at times still required calling the other airline involved.
“Our strategy is to develop digital capabilities centrally,
which can then be used by our member carriers to enhance their own
products, so that they can offer extended care to their regular
customers even when they are travelling elsewhere on the network”,
said Jeffrey Goh. “Over the next few years we will be launching
many such enhancements. Individually, these will offer an
incremental improvement. Taken together, they will offer customers
a completely new level of information and control of their
To support the implementation of the new
strategy, Star Alliance has restructured its Frankfurt-based
headquarters operation and reorganised the Alliance’s management
team, which now is made up of:
Janice Antonson, Vice
President Commercial and Communications. With a strong background
in airport senior management, her career spans leadership roles in
five countries, most recently at privately owned Northern
Queensland Airports Inc. in Australia.
Vice President Customer Experience. He had joined Star Alliance as
Director Customer Experience, having previously worked for
Swissport International, As Managing Director he was in charge of
business units at various locations in the worldwide network. He
brings with him over 25 years of aviation experience.
Martin Mueller, now Director Finance and Strategy joined Star
Alliance in 2009 as Director Alliance Development, having previously worked for such companies as LSG Sky Chefs, Thomas Cook
and Lufthansa eCommerce.
Alska Scherer, now General Counsel
& Director Human Resources, joined Star Alliance in 2005 as legal
Mileage Millionaire Competition
As part of its
customer interaction for its 20th Anniversary, Star Alliance will
be running a global competition, inspired by the theme of
“Connecting People and Cultures”, which will offer winners the
chance to become a mileage millionaire.
Each of the Alliance’s 21 FFPs is offering one million miles (or equivalent) to one
Entrants are asked to
upload a picture
of themselves and to share a cultural experience they enjoyed. The
cultural experiences will be shown on an interactive world map.
The competition will be open until 31 July 2017.
In support of the
20th anniversary campaign, each of the 28 Star Alliance member
carriers has come up with their own local cultural experience
The five founding carriers, Air Canada, Lufthansa,
Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways and United, have gone one step further
by challenging National Geographic’s Travel Nomad, Robert Reid, to
test their recommendations personally and report back to
travellers on his experience.
Tony Fernandes (AirAsia) and Gary Chapman (Emirates) Talk Aviation
@ WTTC Global Summit 2017 - HD Video.
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