Here Breaking Travel News speaks to Jeffrey Goh, chief executive of the organisation, to find out how it feels to have been recognised by voters from around the globe.
Breaking Travel News: Having claimed a top title at the World Travel Awards, how does it feel to have won?
Jeffrey Goh: We’re thankful to the voters in the World Travel awards for again recognising our alliance and the strides we are making in improving the global travel experience.
We feel it is testament to our many areas of industry leadership – the most comprehensive global network of destinations, flights and airport lounges, our premium brand presence and reputation, and our unrelenting focus on digitalisation in making the customer travel experience better.
BTN: How will the trophy help you to promote Star Alliance as we move into 2022?
JG: Recognition by the World Travel Awards is prestigious, and it serves to confirm the strategic direction of Star Alliance in both projecting - and protecting - the strength of its global network, and in developing innovative travel solutions that meet the growing expectations of the customers of our alliance.
On that belief, we and our member airlines are reminded that unity of purpose, placing the customer travel experience at the heart of what we do, benefits not only our customers, but also our airlines and the entire travel industry.
BTN: What is it that caught the eye of voters; what do you think it is that separates Star Alliance from its competitors around the world?
JG: Next year is the 25th anniversary of Star Alliance, having been founded on May 14th, 1997, as the first global airline alliance.
Our strategy from the beginning was to lead the industry in developing an unparalleled global network of airlines and destinations to not only provide the global traveller with the most choice, but also to provide seamless connections across a network of over 50 global hubs and – importantly for premium frequent flyers – to offer them worldwide recognition of their status no matter which member airline they flew.
While we have led in these categories from the outset, what really sets Star Alliance apart from our competitors, beyond scale, is our ability to deliver innovative digital solutions to make the customer journey better.
Examples include a “register once, use often” biometrics solution, and a digitised way for customers who are connecting at hub airports to be navigated to their connecting flights via specialised mapping technology running on their mobile phones.
Both these innovations launched last year in Europe.
Innovation is in our DNA, and there are exciting products coming up in 2022.
BTN: How would you describe the mood in global aviation as we move into 2022 – is the market poised for a recovery next year?
JG: Notwithstanding the emergence of the new Omicron variant, there is a sense of optimism that we will see some degree of recovery in 2022.
It may not be as extensive as some forecast, and perhaps the recovery may be uneven, but it should be a better year than 2021.
Today, we are better informed, and we are more experienced in turning to data and science-based decisions.
Also, vaccination rates are now much higher.
But the past year tells us that we cannot take confidence in air travel recovery for granted.
As it relates to standardisation of vaccine recognition, testing protocols and government responses to new variants of the Covid-19 virus, coordinated international leadership remains largely absent.
Nevertheless, our industry has demonstrated its resilience, and continues to provide a hygienically safe and secure experience for all customers to help restore confidence in both air travel and global tourism.
It is important that we continue to push for international leadership in crafting an appropriate framework that supports the future of our industry in a Covid-19 world.
Find out more about Star Alliance on the official website.