The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance announced that Finnish airline Blue1 will become the first regional member of the alliance.
“With Blue1, Star Alliance now implements its regional membership strategy, which is part of the alliance’s mission to serve more places, more often than any other alliance,” said Jaan Albrecht, CEO, Star Alliance.
“In terms of customer benefits, regional members will be offering the same advantages as member carriers, in other words, frequent flyer benefits, lounge access, through check-in, just to name a few,” Albrecht added.
In order to become a regional member, aside from meeting certain requirements, the carrier in question must be sponsored by, and have close ties to, an existing member to achieve a quick and easy integration. The sponsoring airline will represent the regional member within the alliance. As Blue1 is owned by Star Alliance member carrier SAS, these prerequisites are fulfilled.
Blue1’s integration into Star Alliance is expected to be complete by the end of 2004.