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Which Airlines Are In The Star Alliance?

Have you noticed that while some airlines might go it alone, the vast majority of them belong to an airline alliance? With that in mind, today, we thought we would look at the Star Alliance, the largest of all the airline partnerships, and the program that got the ball rolling.

United Airlines Boeing 777-200 Getty
The Star Alliance was the first airline alliance. Photo: Getty Images

An airline alliance is a way for airlines to collaborate and use their resources to each other’s benefit. By codesharing on flights, passengers can accumulate frequent flyer miles even though they are flying on a different airline to the one they are affiliated with. By joining an alliance, airlines can offer passengers flights to destinations that they do not fly to and at the same time make revenue. For the customer, it also allows them to book a single ticket on multiple flights and have their luggage transferred to their final destination.

The Star Alliance was founded in 1997

The Star Alliance was created in 1997 and is now the largest airline alliance globally, with 26 member airlines operating around 5,033 aircraft. Star Alliance members fly to 1,290 airports in 195 countries, allowing customers to fly nearly anywhere on earth. Like other airline alliances, Star Alliance members share terminals at some of the world’s largest airports, allowing passengers to easily connect from one member airline to another. Headquartered at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA), the Star Alliance has 60 people from 15 nations working to make flying as comfortable and seamless as possible.

An All Nippon Airways (ANA) Boeing 777-281 airliner, in Star getty
The Star Alliance was founded in 1997. Photo: Getty Images

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Star Alliance founding members

So now we know about the Star Alliance, let’s take a look at its member airlines. With the idea of having a global reach, the alliance was founded with five airlines on three continents – United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa.

United Airlines

By fleet size, United Airlines is the third largest airline in the world and has hubs at Chicago–O’Hare, Denver, Guam, Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

SAS is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, from where it flies to more than 100 destinations around the world and within Scandanavia.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways is the national flag carrier airline of Thailand and is based at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok. From BKK and its secondary hub at Phuket International Airport (HKT), the carrier and its subsidiaries fly to over 101 destinations in 37 countries.

Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s national flag carrier and is the country’s biggest airline. From its hubs at Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Air Canada flies to 64 domestic and 158 international destinations.


As the national flag carrier of Germany and one of Europes largest airlines, Lufthansa was a crucial partner in getting the Star Alliance started. Lufthansa flies to 211 destinations in 74 countries from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

TAP Sale
TAP is a fellow Star Alliance member. Photo: Getty

Other Star Alliance airlines

Rather than the date they joined or the size of their fleets, we have listed the other Star Alliance airlines in alphabetical order below:

  • Aegean Airlines (Greece)
  • Air China (China)
  • Air India (India)
  • Air New Zealand ( New Zealand)
  • ANA (Japan)
  • Asiana Airlines (South Korea)
  • Austrian Airlines (Austria)
  • Avianca (Colombia)
  • Brussels Airlines (Belgium)
  • Copa Airlines (Panama)
  • Croatia Airlines (Croatia)
  • Egyptair (Egypt)
  • Ethiopian (Ethiopia)
  • Eva Air (Taiwan)
  • LOT (Poland)
  • Shenzhen Airlines (China)
  • Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
  • South African Airways (South Africa)
  • SWISS (Switzerland)
  • TAP Air Portugal (Portugal)
  • Turkish Airlines (Turkey)

What do you think about the Star Alliance? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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