Star Alliance has launched a new type of membership for airlines that are not ready or willing to become full members of the alliance called Connecting Partner.
Shanghai based airline Juneyao Airlines became the first Connecting Partner on May 23, 2017, and Star Alliance Gold members now have certain benefits only when CONNECTING to/from Juneyao Airlines flights to other Star Alliance flights.
Connecting Partner model also doesn’t require the airline to have commercial agreement with all the other Star Alliance airlines. Only Air Canada, Air China, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines frequent fliers can earn and redeem miles for Juneyao Airlines flights.
Here’s what Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members earn for Juneyao flights:
And here what United Airlines MileagePlus members earn:
Here’s the press release from the Star Alliance:
JUNEYAO AIRLINES BECOMES FIRST AIRLINE TO EXPAND STAR ALLIANCE NETWORK UNDER CONNECTING PARTNER MODELMore Travel Options Via Shanghai
Juneyao Airlines today became the first airline to expand the Star Alliance network as a Connecting Partner. Under the Alliance’s innovative partnership concept, the Shanghai based airline now offers Star Alliance passengers new transfer opportunities at either of Shanghai’s two airports – Pudong International and Hongqiao International.
For all connecting passengers through check-in will be offered in both directions and all qualifying Star Alliance Gold Status passengers will be provided the following privileges on their Juneyao Airlines connecting flights:
• Lounge Access
• Fast Track Security
• Additional Baggage
• Priority Check-in
• Priority Boarding
• Priority Standby
• Priority Baggage Delivery
“With Juneyao Airlines as a Connecting Partner we have achieved two important goals. First, as an alliance we can offer regional airlines an attractive way to connect to our global alliance network, without requiring full membership. Going forward, this will enable us to strategically enhance our network. Second, with Juneyao Airlines we strengthen our market position in Shanghai, a city which is already served by 17 of our member airlines and which will now offer even better connectivity to our customers”, said Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance.
Star Alliance member airlines Air Canada, Air China*, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA*, Asiana*, Austrian, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air*, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, THAI, Turkish Airlines and United operate more than 1,600 weekly services (874 weekly domestic flights and 811 weekly international flights) in and out of the Chinese metropolis, serving 64 destinations (25 domestic and 39 international) in 19 countries. Juneyao Airlines now offers Star Alliance customers the option of connecting to more than 1,700 weekly flights to 69 destinations in eight countries and regions through Shanghai.
“In our 11 year history we have grown into a medium-sized airline operating 62 Airbus A320-family aircraft. Being selected as a Connecting Partner by Star Alliance for providing additional connectivity through Shanghai is recognition of our dedication to service. We hope that Star Alliance customers will enjoy our hospitality”, said Wang Junjin, Chairman Juneyao Airlines.
The Connecting Partner Model allows regional, low-cost or hybrid airlines to link to the Star Alliance network without having to become a full member. For customers this gives access to additional travel options beyond the current 1,300 airports served by the Alliance’s 28 member airlines. Connecting Partners are carefully selected and need to adhere to the high operating standards required by the Alliance.
Connecting Partners also enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.
In case of Juneyao Airlines, Frequent Flyer Members of Air Canada, Air China, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines and United will be able to earn and burn miles when travelling on the Chinese airline.
Note: * = these airlines serve both Hongqiao and Pudong Airports.
All others serve Pudong only.
About Juneyao Airlines: Juneyao Airlines started formal operation in September 2006 and completed its initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2015. Today it owns 60 brand new Airbus A320 series aircraft with an average fleet age of 3 years, which is the youngest one for any of the domestic airlines in China. Juneyao Airlines targets the middle-to-high-level official, business and leisure markets. Based in Shanghai the route network of Juneyao Airlines radiates to the whole nation and counts more than 80 domestic routes between Shanghai and Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and so on. It has also progressively opened up international and regional routes to Hong Kong, Macao, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Thailand, Japan and Korea. At present it carries more than 10 million passengers per year.
About Star Alliance: The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brasil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,450 daily flights to 1,300 airports in 190 countries.
There hasn’t been additions to the alliances as of late after the Qatar Airways joined Oneworld few years ago. Star Alliance was quite silent of the addition this Juneyao Airlines as a Connecting Partner.
Star Alliance Gold members don’t have any benefits on Juneayo Airlines flights unless they are connecting to other Star Alliance flights. Only members of Air Canada, Air China, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines can earn and redeem miles on this Connecting Partner.