SWISS is the 17th member of Star Alliance

7 April 2006

SWISS today celebrated its accession to Star Alliance at an event attended by Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss, Canton Zurich Council President Dorothée Fierz, the CEOs of Star Alliance member airlines and many other prominent figures from the world of politics and business. SWISS became the 17th member of the world’s biggest airline grouping on April 1, enabling it to offer customers a truly global network and all the benefits that alliance membership entails.

Joining Star Alliance is a significant milestone in the still-young history of SWISS. Customers in particular gain from SWISS’s membership of the world’s biggest airline grouping. In addition to having a vast network of 842 destinations in 152 countries to choose from and harmonised timetables with which to plan their travel more conveniently, they also benefit from the reciprocal recognition of frequent flyer programmes, which allows them to earn and redeem miles on all flights operated by Star Alliance carriers. The more than 660 Star Alliance lounges around the world are also now available to SWISS customers.

For SWISS, joining Star Alliance is a major strategic milestone,” said SWISS CEO Christoph Franz at the formal accession ceremony. It creates a comprehensive network of air services and connections for our passengers that truly spans the globe. The co-branding of aircraft among Star Alliance members also helps to raise the awareness of the alliance and its benefits among our customers. And we are proud to carry the Star Alliance logo on our aircraft throughout our route network.”

SWISS’s accession to Star Alliance will be followed by that of South African Airways, which becomes the 18th memeber on April 10. With the inclusion of the two new member carriers, Star Alliance airlines will collectively operate close to 15500 flights daily, more than any other airline alliance offers its customers. Each year, some 425 million passengers board the more than 2800 aircraft carrying the Star Alliance logo. A Star Alliance aircraft takes off or lands every three seconds somewhere in the world. This broad product reinforces Star Alliance’s position as the leading airline grouping, with a market share of more than 30%. With SWISS as a member, Star Alliance expands its excellent position in Central Europe and on key intercontinental trunk routes.

In SWISS, our alliance has gained a quality airline with a strong brand,” comments Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO. We can offer our customers more destinations to choose from, especially on routes in Central Europe and on intercontinental routes that are popular with business travellers.”

The benefits of Star Alliance membership will also come to SWISS as an airline. In its fellow Star Alliance member carriers, SWISS has competent partners all over the world who are also aware of SWISS’s own strengths and the value of Zurich as its hub in the heart of Europe. The alliance also offers new opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs by sharing airport facilities, purchasing goods and services jointly and coordinating network and timetable planning.

The 7300 employees of SWISS are delighted to further develop and improve an already high-quality product, together with their 360000 Star Alliance colleagues,” says SWISS CEO Christoph Franz. And SWISS has every intention of contributing its own proven strengths – hospitality, quality and reliability – to the alliance and its activities.”