Star Alliance has announced plans for THAI Smile Airways to become the next Connecting Partner in its global network.
The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance approved the airline’s application to become a part of the Alliance’s Connecting Partner model, on the sidelines of the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul.
The Connecting Partner model was established by Star Alliance in June 2016 to complement its membership model.
Unlike full membership regional Connecting Partners are required to build commercial relationships with a minimum of three carriers only.
Once all entry requirements are fulfilled THAI Smile Airways will become the second Connecting Partner, joining Juneyao Airlines.
Closing Network Gaps
Connecting Partners allow Star Alliance to close network gaps that may exist of a regional basis.
THAI Smile Airways will add 11 new destinations to the Star Alliance network, which already comprises over 1,300 airports in 194 countries.
Commenting on the occasion Jeffrey Goh, Star Alliance CEO says the move will support the alliance in further strengthening its position as the leading airline alliance network.
“The partnership with our first Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines, has exceeded our mutual expectations and we look forward to providing our customers with even more choice through the addition of the THAI Smile Airways offer,” he adds.
Serving Star Alliance Passengers
The Bangkok based airline has begun to implement the necessary technology and commercial links which will allow THAI Smile to begin serving Star Alliance connecting passengers in 2020.
As of then, the airline will be offering the privileges to qualifying Star Alliance Gold Status passengers travelling on connecting itineraries, including Priority Check-in, Thai Smile Lounge Access, and Priority Baggage Delivery.