The CEOs of the Star Alliance member carriers today welcomed the alliance’s 25th member: Continental Airlines. Continental’s joining Star Alliance will further enhance the alliance’s three main customer benefits: global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless travel. Continental’s membership follows last year’s announcement of a strategic partnership between Continental and United Airlines. Experts from both airlines and Star Alliance have been working together over the last 18 months in order to ensure the first successful transition of a major airline from one global alliance to another.
“Bringing Continental Airlines into Star Alliance has been a truly unique experience. This is the first time an airline has moved directly from one alliance to another and I would like to thank all those involved in ensuring a smooth switch,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance. “Our travelers can now begin to appreciate the advantages Continental brings to the Star Alliance network, while Continental’s customers now enjoy enhanced alliance benefits.”
“Continental’s transition to Star Alliance is one of the most important strategic moves we have accomplished in my career at Continental,” said Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner. “Our membership in Star Alliance positions us to deliver a broader network to our customers, and to achieve better business results and a stronger future for my co-workers, our customers and communities as a result of the benefits from participating in the world’s largest airline alliance.”
“Continental’s joining makes the Star Alliance network even more extensive, offering our customers the broadest global access and greatest choice of service,” said Glenn Tilton, chairman and CEO of United Airlines. “We welcome our partner, Continental, which brings tremendous value to our customers, our employees and the communities we serve.”
Due to the limited overlap between Continental’s and Star Alliance’s networks, Star Alliance customers now have a choice of 19,500 daily flights serving some 1,071 airports in 171 countries. The main network enhancements are taking place in North America, to and from Latin America, as well as across the North Atlantic and the Pacific.
In North America, Continental adds its three hubs – New York/Newark, Houston and Cleveland – to the network, providing more choice to Star Alliance customers. Continental’s extensive Latin America network will increase travel options for Star customers to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
Across the North Atlantic, Continental will also add choice for Star Alliance travelers, especially on the very important New York to London market. Options in the Pacific region are enhanced by Continental’s trans-Pacific flights to mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan, and by Continental Micronesia flights centered on Guam.
In addition to the network benefits, Continental flights can now be used to create itineraries for the Star Alliance Round the World fare as well as for the North American Airpass. Moreover, Continental will sell all 13 Star Alliance fare products and as well as participate in the Star Alliance Conventions Plus product.