Air Canada - British Midland and Mexicana Airlines welcomed to the Star Alliance network

Chief Executive Officers of Star Alliance
airlines, meeting in Vienna, Austria, yesterday welcomed British Midland and
Mexicana Airlines to their global airline partnership. Both airlines will
officially join the alliance on July 1, bringing the total membership to 13.

British Midland serves 32 destinations throughout Europe from its main
hub at London Heathrow and is the UK`s second largest scheduled carrier. Last
year the airline, which employs more than 6,000 people, carried 6 million
passengers with a fleet of 60 aircraft. When British Midland joins Star
Alliance on July 1, London Heathrow will be transformed into the only airport
in Europe to be the hub of two competing alliances.

The oldest airline of Mexico, Mexicana Airlines maintains a route network
covering 50 destinations in nine countries. Some 7 million passengers flew on
Mexicana in 1999. The airline operates a fleet of 54 aircraft and has 6,300

``Star Alliance has achieved an impressive growth since it was
established in May of 1997 by five airlines coming together with the vision of
providing their customers with global reach and seamless travel. With the two
new members, the Star Alliance network today offers easy access to over 815
destinations in more than 130 countries and has an experience advantage of
more than two years over other airline alliances,`` said Robert Milton,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Canada.

The Star Alliance CEOs also indicated that ``the airline network for
Earth`` is close to reaching its completion in terms of number of members.
``We have largely fulfilled our promise of providing unsurpassed global access
- with a few exceptions. We are confident of finding partners that will allow
us to expand our network to areas of the globe where we do not have a presence
today,`` they said.


Star Alliance groups together several of the world`s leading airlines.
The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Austrian
Airlines Group (Austrian Airlines, Lauda Air and Tyrolean Airways), Ansett
Australia, British Midland, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines,
Scandinavian Airlines - SAS, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International,
United Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines.