The CEO of Star Alliance, Jeffery Goh (PhD), will soon visit the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines Group in Addis Ababa.
Goh is Chief Executive Officer of Star Alliance Services GmbH, which is based in Frankfurt, Germany. He and his team coordinate the development and strategies of the world’s first and most experienced global airline alliance.
Sources told The Reporter that Goh will come to Addis Ababa in August to visit the operations of Ethiopian. Sources said Goh will hold a meeting with the executive management of Ethiopian and discuss ways of deepening the collaboration between Ethiopian and Star Alliance. The CEO will visit the new facilities built by Ethiopian including catering and maintenance centers, aviation academy and the four-star hotel the airline is building.
Star Alliance was founded in 1997, by five global airlines – Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, THAI and United – with the aim of offering worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Today the global airlines alliance group has 28 members including three carriers from Africa – Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air and South African Airways.
Star Alliance is the largest global alliance by passenger count ahead of Sky Team and OneWorld. The group transports 690 million passengers yearly. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, Star Alliance has 28 member airlines including Air Canada, Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
Ethiopian joined Star Alliance in December 2011. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told The Reporter that Ethiopian Star Alliance membership has benefited the airline a lot. “It has a big privilege when it comes to frequent flyer program. For instance, if you have flown long distances with Ethiopian Airlines and you are traveling to a place where Ethiopian does not fly, then you can choose one of the Star Alliance member airlines and fly with them and your mileage will be registered.”
This gives an advantage to customers who fly Star Alliance member airlines. “If you take Emirates, it is not a member of any group. You fly Emirates and you can accumulate the mileage only with Emirates. When you come to us you have 28 different options and choose any of the member airlines and accumulate your mileage,” Tewolde told The Reporter. “This is a big privilege for our customers.”
The other advantage is with regards to route network expansion. Star Alliance members feed passengers to Ethiopian Airlines. “For instance Swiss Air is a strong brand in Switzerland but it does not fly to many countries in Africa. So Swiss Air feeds its passengers to Ethiopian, which has an extensive route network in Africa. This helps on our route to China and Japan too.” Tewolde said Ethiopian’s membership has helped the airline bolster its market reach.
The other major advantage of being a member of the Star Alliance Group is branding. “Star Alliance is a well-known brand all over the world. Being a member of an internationally acclaimed group is a big advantage for our national airline. When you are a member, there is a list of requirements that you need to meet in the areas of service delivery, safety etc. Once you are a member, you have to maintain the standards of Star Alliance,” Tewolde said.
Star Alliance covers 192 countries serving 1330 destination airports globally with a fleet of 4,657 aircraft. The group celebrated its 20th anniversary on May 14, 2017 in Frankfurt.