Finnish airline Blue1 has joined Star Alliance as its first regional member.
“We are very proud to be the first regional member of Star Alliance,” said Sveneric Persson, President and CEO Blue1. “Our membership in the world’s leading alliance provides more options and more benefits to passengers flying into or out of Finland.”
“As of October 31 Blue1 offers customers the same advantages as our full member carriers including full frequent flyer benefits, lounge access, and through check-in, just to name a few,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Star Alliance. “This is an important first step in the implementation of our strategy to extend network reach to important regional markets.”
In order to become a regional member, aside from meeting certain requirements, the prospective carrier must be sponsored by and have close ties to an existing member to achieve a quick and easy integration. The sponsoring airline represents the regional member within the alliance. As Blue1 is owned by Star Alliance member carrier Scandinavian Airlines, these prerequisites are fulfilled.
Blue1 operates more than 110 flights per day. The fleet, one of the youngest in Europe, consists of nine Avro RJ and five Saab 2000 aircraft. In 2004 Blue1 is expected to carry 1.1 million passengers between Finland, Scandinavia and Europe.
Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines have also been approved for regional membership with the joining dates for those two carriers still to be finalised.