Aegean Airlines To Join Star Alliance

May 26, 2009

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Greek carrier Aegean Airlines will join the Star Alliance, which includes Lufthansa, United Airlines and Air Canada, it said on Tuesday.

The move would give Aegean, which became Greece's largest airline by passenger numbers last year, access to many markets across the globe with large communities of Greek descendants, executives said.

"Aegean is a welcome addition to the Star Alliance network, its home market is of strategic importance due to its geographic position in the eastern Mediterranean," Star Alliance CEO Jean Albrecht said in a statement.

Aegean, which competes with former state carrier Olympic Airlines, operates a fleet of 31 aircraft covering 47 domestic and international routes.

Members of the airline alliance cooperate on route scheduling and revenue sharing. The Star Alliance competes with two other alliances -- Sky Team and Oneworld.

"Becoming a member of Star Alliance represents both an honour and a great opportunity," said Aegean Chairman Theodore Vassilakis. "As we continue to grow our network we are committed to become valuable contributors to this great alliance."

Executives said teams from Aegean and Star Alliance will start the integration work shortly, expecting completion in about 12 months. Once complete, the Star Alliance will encompass a total of 26 carriers.

(Reuters)