Asiana is leaving Star Alliance. These are the carriers I might prefer to see be a part of Star Alliance as its substitute

Someday within the subsequent couple of years, Asiana Airways will merge with Korean Air. That is a major consolidation that may lead to South Korea’s second-largest and largest airways becoming a member of forces to turn into one sole provider — Korean Air.

After all, the longtime “frenemy” Asiana Airways is a member of Star Alliance, whereas Korean Air is a member of SkyTeam.

Since Korean Air would be the sole airline popping out of the merger, Star Alliance can be down an airline. It will likely be a giant win for SkyTeam with the only, megasize Korean Air, however a loss for Star Alliance.

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As a Star Alliance flyer myself, I’ve began to assume by way of who we would see substitute Asiana. The alliance already has a big Asian presence with Air China, ANA and Singapore Airways.

Nonetheless, if the alliance had been so as to add a brand new provider to switch Asiana, listed here are a couple of I might prefer to see thought-about.

Some background

Star Alliance world hubs. GCMAP.COM

With Asiana’s exit, there can be 25 airways left within the Star Alliance. That is nonetheless virtually twice the variety of airways in opponents Oneworld and SkyTeam.

So whereas there is no assure {that a} substitute airline will be a part of Star Alliance, we are able to focus on among the airways that are not but a part of a significant alliance and what their becoming a member of Star Alliance would imply for vacationers.

Hawaiian Airways

A Hawaiian Airways Airbus A330-200 in Seattle. BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

Whereas a few of its mainland U.S.; Auckland, New Zealand; and Tokyo routes would immediately compete with current Star Alliance members United Airways, ANA and Air New Zealand, if Hawaiian Airways joined Star Alliance, the alliance would have considerably extra publicity by way of the Asia-Pacific area.

Plus, United and Hawaiian have already got a partnership permitting MileagePlus members to earn and redeem miles on interisland Hawaiian Airways flights.

Along with interisland service inside Hawaii, Star Alliance members would get pleasure from extra flights to locations like Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, American Samoa, Japan and South Korea by means of Hawaiian’s conveniently located hub of Honolulu’s Daniel Okay. Inouye Worldwide Airport (HNL).

It will be possible that Hawaiian’s Pualani Gold members would get pleasure from the advantages of Star Alliance Silver, whereas Pualani Platinum members would get pleasure from the advantages of Star Alliance Gold.

That may imply Pualani Platinum members might entry different Star Alliance lounges when touring internationally. HNL already has two Star Alliance lounges — the United Membership and the ANA Lounge.

Star Alliance Gold members would even have advantages like precedence boarding, extra baggage allowances, elevated incomes/redeeming alternatives and entry to Hawaiian’s 5 Premier Golf equipment situated all through the Hawaiian islands.

Associated: Mai tai-ing one on: Hawaiian Airways (A321neo) in top quality from Portland to Maui

Virgin Australia

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800. JAMES D. MORGAN/GETTY IMAGES

Though it misplaced its long-haul locations and Boeing 777-300ER fleet throughout the pandemic, Virgin Australia’s membership in Star Alliance would shake up the Qantas syndicate Down Underneath.

In any case, Virgin Atlantic has Brisbane Airport (BNE), Sydney Airport (SYD), Melbourne Airport (MEL) and Perth Airport (PER) as hubs, and as soon as it receives its new Boeing 737-8 and -10 MAX jets, new locations can be inside attain.

Vary of Virgin Australia’s new Boeing 737-8 MAX from its hubs. GCMAP.COM

The printed cruising vary of three,550 nautical miles for the Boeing 737-8 MAX (anticipated to be delivered in February 2023) will open up new locations in Southeast Asia in addition to locations like Mauritius and Chennai, India, from Perth. With a refueling cease in Fiji, Somoa or French Polynesia, Virgin Australia might attain Honolulu from its Jap Australian hubs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Although Virgin Australia is not a member of Star Alliance, the airline already has partnerships with Star Alliance carriers like Air Canada, United, Singapore Airways and South African Airways.

At present, Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum members have entry to United Golf equipment, Singapore Airways SilverKris lounges and South African Airways lounges — all of that are branded Star Alliance Gold lounges.

Moreover, Virgin Australia and United lately shaped a partnership that permits for codeshare flights with connections on one reservation. Extra United advantages for Virgin Australia flyers are coming quickly.

If Virgin Australia joined Star Alliance, Star Alliance flyers would see new home providers all through Australia — a area presently underserved by the alliance.

Associated: The perfect methods to make use of factors and miles to fly from the US to Australia



Whereas each Turkish Airways and Egyptair have in depth networks all through the Center East, by becoming a member of Star Alliance, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-based Etihad would open the Star Alliance community to the airline’s 67 world locations.

Doha-based Qatar Airways, a competitor of Etihad, is already a member of Oneworld, and Oneworld prospects can e-book the Q Suite utilizing miles. When you handle to search out award house, you possibly can e-book a flight from america to Doha’s Hamad Worldwide Airport (DOH) for simply 70,000 AAdvantage miles.

Oh, how I might like to see the identical from MileagePlus on new Etihad’s enterprise class!

Etihad already has partnerships with six Star Alliance carriers, and by utilizing Air Canada’s Aeroplan, you possibly can e-book Etihad flights at considerably cheap award charges.

If Etihad joined Star Alliance, U.S. vacationers en path to the Center East, Africa and South Asia would have considerably extra choices.

Associated: Etihad Visitor miles proceed to fly below the radar



A stone’s throw away from Abu Dhabi is the Dubai-based airline Emirates.

The airline lately established partnerships with United and Air Canada. Whereas these partnerships have solely include interline agreements in the meanwhile, reciprocal mileage alternatives will possible be introduced within the coming months. In my view, an Emirates membership in Star Alliance would simplify these partnerships, making it simpler for patrons to know their advantages based mostly on their standing tier.

Emirates operates an infinite fleet of 250 wide-body jets to over 150 worldwide locations. I might be most eager on the addition of its 30-plus business-class lounges to the Star Alliance Gold lounge portfolio.

In america alone, Emirates has lounges in Boston Logan Worldwide Airport (BOS), Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX), John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) and San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO).

Regardless of its ageing business-class cabin, the addition of Emirates to Star Alliance can be a recreation changer. And it may additionally push Turkish Airways to retrofit its outdated 2-3-2 Boeing 777-300ER business-class cabin with a more recent cabin to stay aggressive.

And like with Etihad, Star Alliance flyers would profit from in depth connecting flight itineraries linking the East and the West.

Associated: Going for gold: A assessment of Emirates’ new premium financial system cabin on the Airbus A380



Lastly, Icelandair can be a intelligent candidate for Star Alliance.

As Iceland’s full-service provider, it flies Boeing 737 MAX, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 jets all through the northern United States, Canada and Western Europe — together with lesser-known point-to-point routes like Raleigh-Durham Worldwide Airport (RDU), Minneapolis-St. Paul Worldwide Airport (MSP) and Baltimore/Washington Worldwide Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport (KEF).

Icelandair additionally has an in depth community all through Europe which permits for handy one-stop itineraries between the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, flight instances between Iceland and america are considerably shorter than these going to mainland Europe. So stopping in Iceland could be a welcomed stretch break.

Reykjavik is already nicely served by the Star Alliance community, specifically with flights on Air Canada, Austrian Airways, Lufthansa, SAS and United. However the Icelandair stopover rule would attraction to Star Alliance passengers on flights between the U.S. and Europe. Icelandair additionally presently has a partnership with SAS.

In sum, Icelandair can be a main candidate for Star Alliance and open up many handy one-stop itineraries by way of Iceland.

Associated: How one can get to Iceland on factors and miles

Backside line

Although Asiana can be leaving Star Alliance, there is no public plan so as to add one other airline to the alliance. Nonetheless, world wide, there are a number of prime candidates for Star Alliance.

Whereas it is unlikely that Etihad or Emirates may very well be satisfied that becoming a member of Star Alliance can be of their curiosity, all the listed carriers have already got not less than one partnership with a Star Alliance provider.

So, who is aware of? Possibly Asiana’s exit from Star Alliance will push the alliance’s airline headhunters just a little tougher to search out some new vitality within the alliance recreation.

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